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REPORT 

OF THE 

PRESS COMMISSION 

PART 1 


1954 


D, 1. B. 9 

5000 




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.*P' 

1 


Price Rs. 3 or 5sh^ 




PRINTED IN INDIA BY THE MANAGER, GOVT. INDIA PRESS N^^^^ D^HI 
AND PUBLISHED BY THE MANAGER OF PUBLICATIONS, DELIH, 1^0^ 


TABLE OF CONTENTS 


CHAPTER I COURSE OF INQUIRY . . • 

nri<rin I Aonointment 5 Preliminary memoranda TJ 6 General 
QuesdoimaiJe U 7^Factual data'-r 9 Research Section <11 17 Sample Sur^ 
t 18 Machiner'y and newsprint 11 . 19 Swdtea ab>oad 
« M ITistorv and development of )ournalism m India . 24 L^urauon 
ii^^^iryT25 Meeting of the Commission 27 acknowledgment H 28. 

CHAPTER n newspapers and periodicals 

Lack of reliable statistics 1[ 32 copies not filed 
only approximate 1; 38 daily "cwspapcrs 40 ^ l<acal on 

rc^fatiln 47‘^‘ ~Jor non- 
and circulation H 65 defects ‘^‘‘"Suisuc dat , ^ 66 ^ 

collection of statistics H 86 periodical publications 1 S* dailies om ^ 

ofTndil‘'%SicairY 04 "?acrirc.^^^^^^^^ 

dearth of technical and scientihc periodicals 1; 106 decline 01 serious 
journalism 1, 107 competition frt*an government publications 1 , 108 
objectionable writings *1^ 109. 

CHAFFER III CAPITAL INVESTMENT AND TURNOVER 

The daily press 1; no forms of ownership ii2^. 

H 113 annual turnover 1{ 114 ovbr-capitalisation i 5 „ V 

newsprint consumption t 118 salaries and wages nrosnects 

capital investment II 121 capital requirements Ij 126 investment prospects 
1i 127 weeklies and other periodicals • 131 • 

CHAPTER IV economics OF NEWSPAPERS • • 

Elements that go into the cost of production 1i_ 133 variations in 

"SI S “m4Jon. S fss" jS.loU”li .S6 Wng 

between circulation and advertisement revenue I 57 

the time factor If 163 selling prices 164 news 98^^166 

number of oages 169 prize competitions 170 figures of circulatio 

the ABC 1i 171 audit procedure 172 nianipJation of 

as waste paper i77 veritication of circulation ^ 

and other competitions 1[ 185 prize ^c^nies and fr^e 

nrice-cutting 187 unsold returns 189 unlair practices 190 

mics of newsoaner aggregates *!T 191 drawback ot groups and muliiplt 

units II 198 separation of accounts 201 future expansion ‘1 203 price- 

pjge schedules 205. 


Page 1 


Page 13 


Page 40 


Page 4 


11 


CHAPTER V ADVERTISEMENTS 

Revenue of newspapers and periodicals ^ 217 sources of revenue ^ 218 
consumer advertising 219 specialised advertising 220 character 
of advertising ^ 221 advertisements placed direct ^ 223 sceme for 
expansion ^ 224 advertisement tariffs H 226 disparities in tariffs f 227 
multiple readership 231 selection of advertising media «[[ 234 combined 
tariffs ^ 225 cost of advertising in India 236 government advertisements 
11 237 telescopic tariff f 241 advenising agencies f 247 discrimination 
m placing advertisements 11 250 accreditation rules of the Indian and 
Eastern Newspaper Society i[ 255 delays in payments f 259 advertising and 
business interests 1[ 260 aavertisement space U 263 advertising supple- 
ments If 267 objectionable advertisements U 268* code of advertising 
drugs and remedies ^ 271 recommendations of 
the BMA If 274 dangerous drugs If 276 Acts to regulate advertisements 
01 drugs and medicines If 277 other objectionable advertisements If 282, 


CHAPTER VI SUPPLIES 

. World supplies and consumption of newsprint U 284 newsprint 
distribution in India If 288 manufacture of newsprint If 295 the Nepa 
Mills “I 297 scheme for newsprint distribution U 300 composing 
machinery if 304 printing machines If 307 imports from abroad If 308 
manufacture of printing machines J[ 309 rotary presses If 310. 


CHAPTER VII COMMUNICATIONS AND TRANSPORT . 


, Postal services If 313 telephones If 314 telegrams If 315 tele- 
printers If 318 teleprinters for Indian scripts If 324 overseas radio 
ana cable 1] 328 transportation of newspapers f 332 air transport If 226 
road transport 1j 338. " 


CHAPTER VHI 


NEWS AGENCIES 


Function of news agencies If 340 selection of news U 341 freedom 
from bias in selection If 343 news value If 345 comment in reporting 
11^^347 international news If 348 an international agency If 350 views 
of press on present world agencies f 351 freedom of international flow 
of news If 352 I^ndian news agencies if 354 State control of news 
agencies U 356 State assistance If 357 present coverage of Indian and 
International news If 358 review of coverage If 359 international news 
^ Indian news if 363 development of regional news U 267 
classification of Press Trust of India services if 374 condensed 
service for district newspapers If 378 news distribution through All 
India Radio If 380 United Press of India services If 385 tariffs H 
386 commercial services If 395 government subscription If 398 depend- 
ence on subscription from radio If 401 tariff for radio subscriptions 
If 402 basis for assessing radio subscription If 403 supplementing 
sources of foreign news If 404 appointment of correspondents 
fil n foreign correspondents U 406 working of 

the Press Trust of India If 407 outstandings from newspapers If 408 sub- 
senbers as directo^rs If 409 meeting demands of employees If 410 
l^k of plans for the future If 412 reorganisation of finances If 414 transfer 
of respoi^ibility for teleprinters 415 loan from Government ^ 416 change 
m constitution of PTI If 417 PTI as a public corporation V 420 need 
tor a competing service If 422 regional services from UPI If 424 UPI 
. services 425 .organisation of the UPI If 426 concessions 
trom government If 428 service to newspapers outside India If 422 meagre 
coverage of Indian news abroad if 435 distribution of Indian ne 4 throijgh 
Reuters and Agence France Presse If 437 news distribution through 
Government of India 1[ 439. ^ 


CHAPTER IX FEATURE SYNDICATES 

Indian Feature Syndicates If 442 Foreign Feature Syndicates If 443 
scope for feature syndicates If 444 foreign markets 448 contributi^s 
by government ofhcials if 449 features services by news agencies If 450. 


Page 79 


Page 102 


Page 114 


Page 122 


Page 157 


1 1 


f 


% 


f 


\ 

4 


CHAPTER X LIAISON WITH GOVERNMENT 

Government and the Press f 451 accreditation of press correspon- 
dents U «3 access to official sources 458 press conferences ^ 459 
press facilities ^ 460 despatches of foreign correspondents f 462 govern- 
ment publicity organisations ^ 465 government press releases 469 
publicity officers and government advertisements «|f 472 press photographs 
H 473 pressure on correspondents ^f474 publicity and ‘‘puffs’* 475 
government periodicals ^ 476 foreign government publications ^ 478 
Press Advisory Committees 479. 


CHAPTER XI 


EMPLOYMENT 


Working journalists ^ 483 ^:nior and junior journalists ^ 48^ 
number of journalists per paper 489 monthly emoluments If 490 
variations between languages 491 variations with circulation 1 492 
effect of circulation and language ^f 493 variations with location 
^ 495 summary ][ 498 working days per weekj^ 499 working hours 
per day ^00 variations with language ^ 501 variations with circulation 
^ 502 variations with location If 503. 


CHAPTER XII 


WORKING JOURNALISTS 


Working journalist* If 505 proof readers 506 Classification 
of enmloyecs J 507 Recruitment If 513 Education and training if <i8 
Qualification for a journalistic career ij 520 University career in 
journalism ^ 522 Mysore University 1] 523 Madras University course if C24 
Nagpur University course ^ 525 The Punjab University course ^ ^26 
Calcutta University course ^f 527 Our recommendation if 528 Need 
for a regular system ^ 531 Refresher Courses 1; 532 Facilities for 
travel ^f 533 There should be a letter of appoiniincnt or a contract 
Minimum notice periods recommended If 534 How and what punishments 
may be imposed ^ 535 Unsatisfactory emoluments 437 Scales to 
be settled by collective bargaining or adjudication 538“ Minimum watre 
If 540 Application of Minimum Wages Act not recommended T ^41 
Classification of areas 542 Concept of minimum wage i' 54a Position 
under the Bank Award and in some other employments If 544 Minimum 
wager recommended 546 Qualifications for being entitled to minimum 
wage 548 Comparison with recommendation of Uttar Pradesh and 
Madina Pradesh Committees ^f 549 To whom these recommendations 
should be applied 550 No disparity in minimum wage between English 
and Indian language newspapers ^ 552 Reporters and correspondents If cca 
Non-nationals as special or foreign correspondents 5<;7 Remuneration 
and other facilities to foreign correspondents If 559 Foreign correspon- 
dents should not be business representatives ^f 560 Indians in Forcim 

Information Service 561 Free Lance journalists ^ 562 Bonus Present 

practice 563 Views of Associations of journalists if c64 Real 
Chameter of Bonus ^f 565 Views of the Labour Appellate Tribunal 
1 recommendation ir 567 Analogy of Electricity (Supply) 

Act 1948 568 Hours of work — Increased work load C70 Our re 

commendations t 571 weekly rest and holidays— present practice regar- 
ding weekly rest Jf 573 seven day papers and objection thereto if C74 
no common solution to those objections ^ 577 our recommendatkm 
1; 579 holidays— our recommendation ^f 580 existence of leave 
rules— our suggestion 581 no uniformity regarding quantum of leave 

If 582 recommendation of Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh Com- 
mittees and views of professional bodies 583 our recommendation ^ 584 
amenities and facihiies 585 our recommendation ^f 586 promotions-^ 
present practice— our recommendation 587 men bonus if cHH 
retirement benefits— existing practice 589 provident fund-.e^m-grat itv 

scheme ^f 590 gratuity ^f 591 provision as legitimate part of expenses 
11592 trade unions— differences of opinion among professional bodies 
If 593 arguments for and against— our views ^f 594 two kinds of organi- 
sauons may co-exist t 595 settlement of dispute-disputes undS the 
mvolving working journalists «f 596 applicability 
of the Factories Act and the Payment of Wages Act to the editorial side 
of news papers 1,- 597 Applicability of the Industrial Disputes Act to 
working )ournahsts 601 proposal to bring working journalists within 


Page 161 


Page 170 


Page 189 



iV 


the purview of the Industrial Disputes Act ^606 an examination of the 

proposed Industrial Relations Law 60S proposed legislation generally 

suitable for newspaper employees 632 No conllict between Press Council 

and Industrial Relations machinery regarding workmg journalists ^ 635 

proposed legislation should embody certain of our recommendations If 636 m 

recommendation should apply to the employees of news agencies 637. 

CHAPTER XIII ASSOCIATIONS OF NEWSPAPERMEN . Pagk 248 

The All India Newspaper Editors’ Conferene ^639 The Indian f 

Eederation of Working Journalists *!f 640 The Southern India Journalists 
Federation 641 The Indian and Eastern Newspaper Society ‘jj 642 The 
Indian Languages Newspapers’ Association ^f 643 general 644. 


CHAPTER XIV NEWSPAPER CONTENT .... 

Quantum and proportions 650 variations in size If 652 effect of 
typography '][ 654 editorial matter 657 advertising matter 65S tiews 
columns 659 categories ot news \ 660 balance in news coverage ^f 662 
Indian language par>crs 663 read ers’ j'^relerenc^ '^'664 lorcign news 
If 665 coverage ot dillercnt subjects 670 editorial comment 671. 


CHAPTER XV OWNERS HtP|AND CONTROL 


Page 265 


Newspaper owners' lip ^675 forms of ownership '’[676 exer- 
cise ot control eflcct ot c-introl diet it ion of policy *’1681 

boosting of the proprietor ^[683 writing up business activities *ij685 

biassed reporting and editing <.)1 news ^[4-Sa i;iLere.»ts of live owner 
^[690 sensationalism to raise circulation ^:6^i c linrol, pniper and im- 
proper *[692 regimentation of naws and views «f693 individual 
ownership «:694 defects not invariably 1 inked <0 form of owacrship 
lorcign nationals as owners *[696 foreign governments as pub- 
lishers * 697 Cvintrol exercised ti.) suit iiliier inte.ests ‘’;)'699 diffusion 
of control ^[701 eiiecl ivc control with dilfuse I vivvnership ''i’732 co- 
operative societies *.'703 diffusion of ownerslup among emoloyces 
^,'704 the prolit. motive. I1715 


CHAPTER XVI COMPETITION AND MONOPOLIES . Page 280 

Introductory ^^721 Local monopolies '\f727 Assam *'728 Bihar 
l^^>nibay 1^740 Madhya Pradesh Midras '^ 763 Orissa 

^i770 » Punjab *,'773 Lttar Pradesh ^>776 West Bengal +782 Ilvderabad 
^;786 Madhya Bharat *if788 Mysore 7790 l^atiaia and liast Punjab 
States Union •; 793 Rajasthan *f Hoi Saurashtra «j7Q(> TVavancorc 
Cochin *,798 Ajmer ^,799 Bhopal ^f8oo Delhi "891 Kutch ^[803 
Manipur ^.'804 Conclusions on nature of competititon aiid concentration 
of readership ^[8o6 Extensive monop^dJes 1[8f)9 Concentration 
of ownership ’■,814 Present degree of Concciitration •[816 Oincen- 
tration in individual languages *1^819 Conceutrat ion due to economic 
causes ‘.820 Effect of local coinpctirioa ’)f82i Diversity of opinion should 
be promoted ^1822 what constitutes moaopv>!y ;8i5 procedure for 
dealing with monopolies. *^^828 


CHAPTER XVll BIAS AND EXTERNAL PRESSURE . Page 313 

lixternal pressure ‘f|833 Reasons for susccplibility 835 Pressure 
from advertisers * 83 ^ Editorial support io advertisers “,843 Newspaper 
supplements ^ 847 Suppression of news items ^848 Iniluencc of Ad- 
vertising interests M^53 Government as advertiser '^,855 Advertise- 
ments from public bodies ';,864 Employnient advertisements *^j865 
Pressure on news agencies ®,866 Pressure of political parties "867 Pres- 
sure from foreign governments *869 Pressure from Foreign Informa- 
tion Services *^^871 Acknowledgement of Sources 1. 875 Printing Contr- 
acts ";88o hniei tainment at panics A881 Invirations to visit foreign 
countries 11882 Bias in news presentation "^,884 Readers’ faith in the 
news A886 Sources of bias in news 1(887 Bias in agency reports 1(889 Bias 
in editing K890 




V 


CHAPTER XVITI EDITORIAL CONTROL Page 333 

Decline in Editor’s Stitas |[892 Eiifor’s sphere of inflaencc ^[89 4 
Editors of chain papers ^[896 Managing Editors ^897 Undivided res- 
ponsibility of the EdiLv)r ^[899 The owner and the Editor ^[900 Change 
of Policy ^1902 DilTcrcnccs ot opinion ^[903 Security of employm«nt 
^[904 Presentation of news 'U905 Editor’s other activities ^[906 

CHAPTER XrX STANDARDS AND PERFORMANCE Page 339 

The goal in view 1j9io^ Ereedo'n of iixoreisioM ’^^912 The need 
today ^[913 Accuracy and Fairness *[914 Selection of newspapers for 
examination ^[915 Report on f he lindings ^[917 Limitations on news 
coverage ^918 Presentation of news *^[922 Presentation of views ^;923 
C'lain papers <[[924 What the puhlic wants «J925 Responsibility 
in news reporting *’[926 Rospv)nsibiUty in comment ^[927 
Limitations of our Study ^^928 Yellow Journalism *[929 Sensationalism 
T931 Astrological predictions *;■ 934 Cartoon strips ®'935 Malicious and 
irresponsible attacks *1,936 Responsibhity of sober papers ^^938 Attacks 
on cornmunilies and social groups ^1,940 Indecency and vulgarity *,'941 
Personal attacks on individuals *f943 Instances of objectionable writings 
^[944 Yellow journalism only among small section '1,;945 Press Council to 
safeguard iiidcpendcnce ''J947 (Condemnation of objectionable writings 
1,948 Press Council in the U. K. i;949 Statutory protection for Council 
1/950 Rccomrncndalions 1/951 Constitution I/952 Woiking of the 
(Council 1/955 Finances *1:956 

CHAPTER XX PRESS LliGiSLATiON Page 357 

Freedom of the Presi 

The Freedom of the Press ‘:95s Nature and extent of restrictions 
1/961 Legal restrictions 11965 Reasons for amendmenv o) the Constitution 
1/966 Was amendment necessary '’/969 Scope of restriciions accord- 
ing to the organs of the United Nativtns I/970 Views of the Council of 
Europe 1:980 Amended Article 191,2) not inconsistent with tlic concept of 
the Freedom of the lYcss 1,981 Eo. ition in some other Consitiuions 
1/982 Specific suggestion for amendmem of Articic 19(2) of the Constitu- 
tion 1/988 friendly relation witli foreign states If 9I59 Incucment to an 
offence 1^994 Constitution, Legislatures and (//ouits together safeguard 
the Freedom of Expression I/998 


The Press {Objectionable Matter) Act 

Effect of the amendment of the Constitution *'999 Press Laws 
Enquiry Committee l/iooo Press (Objectionable Mader) Pill 1 [i 002 
criticisriT of the Act 1/1004 views of the Indian FeJerari on of Working 
Journalists and All India Newspaper Eiditor’s Conference *,^1006 Dis- 
cussion ol crUicism I/1007 Necessity oS liaving a Press Low '1/1014 pos- 
sibility of adopting Section toH, Criminal Procedure Code 1/1019 Re- 
commendations of the (dommisskm 1^1021 validity clause (v^ and 
(vi). Section 3 of tbo Act 1 [i 022 defamutioii of public servants I/1024 
publication of false or distorted news 1^1025 abolition of rnal by jury 
1/1026 other minor siiggcsiions I/1027 provision for appeal where conn 
declines to order security l/iozS editor’s liability under the Act i/1029. 

The Press and Registration of Books Act 

'Phe Act and the Cloncept of the Freedom of the Press ‘i/1030 In- 
clusion of leaflers witiiin the purview of the Act 1/1033 Section 5(1) of the 
Act 1/1034 Amendment of Section s( 2 ) of the ‘Act 1^1035 Aniendincni 
of Section 5 and Section 8 1/1036 Section 5(3) I/1037 Section 
5(4) 1/1038 Section 9 1/1039 proposal tv) appoint a Press Registrar IA040 
Suggesti(;)ns regarding postal concessions for Newspaper;; and I’erio'dicals 
I/1041 Enforcement of Regulation 96 under the Post Office Act I/1042 
Press Registrar to bring out annual report I/1043. 



VI 


Other Lam~-lndim Official Secrets Act, 1923 ^^1044 Section 124A, ^ 

Indian Pen>l Code If 1049 Section 153 A, Indian Penal Code If 1055 
Section 295 A, Indian Penal Code ^[1057. Section 5^5 > Penal 

Code 111058 Section 99A to 99G, Criminal Procedure Code If 1059 
Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code 1 [io 6 i Indian Telegraph 
Act, Section 5 of the Act IJ1063 Sea Customs Act, 1878 1 [io 68 Indian ^ 

Post Offices Act, 1898, Section 25 1 [i 070 Section 26(1) 1 fi 07 i Section 
27A If 1072 Section 27B 1[i073 Law of Contempt ot Courts II1074 
Contempt of Legislature 1[i090 Law of Defamation 1 [ii 2 i 


Dissent on Press Legislation 

Constitution (First Amendment) Act, 1951 Hi 141 Amendment not 
called for by situation II1143 Fresh limitations placed on freedom of 
expression ^<1144 I’libhc order IJ1145 Friendly relations with foreign 
States ^1146 Press (Objectionable Matter) Act H1147 Recommenda- 
tions of tlie Press Laws Enquiry Committee ^114^ Distinction between 
an individual and tlic Press 1 ]ii 49 Security provisions TjiiSO Section 108 
of the Criminal Procedure Code 1 J 1 1 5 ^ No justification for Press Act H* 15 ^ 
Objectionable features of the Act H1153 Danger of Act becoming per- 
manent part of legislation 1 fii 54 Recommendations of the Commission 
H1155 Press (Objectionable Matter) Act should lapse after its preset 
term I1156 Defamation of public servants Hn 57 Lxceptions to Section 
198 of the Criminal Procedure Code H1158 Public Servants not entitled 
to discrimination in their favour Compulsory magisterial inquiry 

H1160 

Summing up %ii6i — 1165 

CHAPTER XXI CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS. Page 455 

H1166— 1539 

Annexi'Ki: 



CHAPTER I 


COURSE OF INQUIRY 

Origin.— During the debate in Parliament on the Constitution (First 
Amendment) Bill, 1951, the Prime Minister said that he was prepared to 
appoint a Committee or a Commission, including representatives of the 
Press, to examine the state of the Press and its content. He elaborated the 
Idea further on the 1st June 1951 when he indicated that an inquiry covering 
e larger is.sue of the Pre.ss, such as had been carried out in the United 
Kingdom by the Royal Commi.ssion, might be productive of good for the 
Press, and the development of this very important aspect of public affairs. 

2. The appointment of a Commission to inquire into the working of the 
Press was again discussed during the debate in Parliament on the Press 
(Incitement to Crime) Bill, later named the Piess (Objectionable Matter) 
Act, 1952. Emphasising the necessity for the appointment of a Press Com- 
mission, some of the members suggested the following points for inquiry; 
gi-owth of monopolies; newspaper chains and cartels; entry of big business 
into the industry; working conditions in the Press; processes of self-correc- 
tion; conditions of employment of working journalists; revision of Press 

ISWS. 

3 At its session held in April 1952 at Calcu„a, the Indian Federation of 
V\ 01 king Journalists adopted a resolution for the appointment of a Commis- 
sion to inquire into the conditions of the Press in India with a view to 
improving its place, status and functioning in the new democratic set-up. 

4. In his address delivered to Parliament on the 16th May 19,52 the Presi- 
dent announced that the Government hoped to appoint, in the near future 
a Commession to consider various matters connected with the Press. 

5. Appointment.— The appointment of the Press Commission was announc- 
ed in a Communique issued by the Government of India, Ministry of Infor- 
mation and Broadcasting, on the 23rd September, 1952, which was followed 

irf ih'^r '*ated the 3rd October, 1952 published 

in the Gazette of India. The notification read as follows: 

Whereas the Central Government is of onininn 

rTa‘te%?X"'S fn^ 

ComSion^of Inqui^ Act^^ ‘fLX°rf®T952T^?he ^ 

hereby appoints a^CoiJ^mission “ Inquiry (to bKalled^^^^’^f.^ess” Co'S 
Sion) consisting of the following persons, namely;— Commis- 

1. Sri Justice G. S. Rajadhyaksha, Chairman. 

2. Dr. C. P. Ramaswami Aiyar, Member. 

3. Acharya Narendra Deva, 

4. Dr. Zakir Hussain, 

5. Dr. V. K. R. V. Rao, 

6. Sri P. H. Patwardhan, 


2 


7. Sri T. N. Singh, Member. 

8. Sri Jaipal Singh, „ 

9. Sri J. Natarajan, „ 

10. Sri A. R. Bhat, „ 

11. Sri M. Chalapathi Rau, „ 

“2. The Press Commission shall enquire into the state of the Press in 
India, its present and future lines of development and shall in particular 
examine: — 

(i) the control, management and ownership and financial structure of 

newspapers, large and small, tHie periodical press and news 
agencies and feature .syndicates; 

(ii) the working of monopolies and chains and their effect on the 

presentation of accurate news and fair views; 

(iii) the effect of holding companies, the distribution of advertisements 

and such other forms of external influence as may have a bearing 
on the development of healthy journalism; 

(iv) the method of recruitment, training, scales of remuneration, bene- 

fits and otlier conditions of employment of working journalists, 
settlement of disputes affecting them and factors which influence 
the establishment and maintenance of high professional 
standards; 

(v) the adequacy of newsprint supplies and their distribution among 

all classes of newspapers and the possibilities of promoting indi- 
genous manufacture of (i) newsprint and (ii) printing and com- 
posing machinery; 

(vi) machinery for (a) ensuring high standards of journalism and (b) 

liaison between Government and the Press; the fiinctioning of 
Press Advisory Committees and organisations of editors and 
working journalists etc.; 

(vii) freedom of the Press and repeal or amendment of laws not in 

consonance with it; 

and to make recommendation thereon. 

'‘3. The Press Commission shall hold its inquiry and submit its report 
to the Central Government by 1st March, 1953. 

II 

In pursuance of Section 5 of the Commission of Inquiry Act. 1952. the 
Centra] Government hereby directs that all the provisions of sub-section 
(2), sub-section (3), sub-section (4) and sub-section (5) of the said Section 
shall apply to the Press Commission. 


(Sd.) P. C. Chaudhuri, 
Secretary to the Government of India. 

Pending the return of Sri A. D. Mani from abroad, Sri J. Natarajan 
joined the Commission in his place. Sri Mani joined the Commission in 
March 1953 and his appointment was notified in the Government of India, 
Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Notification No. 10/9/53-IP. dated 
4th March, 1953. 

Sri M. L. Chowla was appointed to act as Secretary to the Commission. 
He took charge on 30th September, 1952, but died on 19th February, 1953, 
of heart failure. 

Sri S. Gopalan took over as Secretary. Press Commission from 3rd March, 
1953. 

6. Preliminary Memoranda. — The Commission held their first meeting 
in New Delhi on the 11th and 12th October, 1952, at which they discussed 



the scope of the enquiry and the lines on which opinion and factual infor- 
mation was to be collected under each of the subjects referred to them. One 
of the steps decided upon was to ask for written memoranda, on the subjects 
referred to them, from the associations of editors, associations of working 
journalists, associations of newspaper /periodical proprietors, associations of 
newsprint merchants, associations of paper merchants/manufacturers, asso- 
ciations of merchants/manufacturers of printing and composing machinery, 
associations of advertising agents, the Audit Bureau of Circulation Ltd., 
Chambers of Commerce (with regard to the terms of reference about news- 
print, printing and composing machinery), Indian News Agencies and Indian 
Feature Syndicates. They were all requested to include, in their memo- 
randa, such information as they considered necessary to enable the Com- 
mission to issue a detailed questionnaire. The Government of India and the 
State Governments were also invited to submit preliminary memoranda. 
Members of the public who wished to send in preliminary memoranda 
were supplied on request with copies of the terms of reference. The preli- 
minary memoranda were required to reach the Commission before the 15th 
November, 1952. On the representations of the Indian and Eastern News- 
papers Society and the All India Newspaper Editors Conference, it was decid- 
ed to extend the date for receipt of preliminary memoranda up to the 30th 
November, 1952. The following is an analysis of the preliminary memoranda 
received: — 


1 

2 

3 

4 
s 
6 
7 

5 
9 

10 

11 

12 

13 

14 

15 

16 

17 

1 8 

19 

20 
21 
22 

23 

24 

25 

26 
27 


(r) : (2) 

No, of No. of associa- 
associations tions inc. from 

cic. add- wiiom prelimi- 

resscd nary memoran- 

da v/ere receiv- 
ed 


Associations of Editors .... 
Associations of Working Journalists 
Associations of newspaper proprietors 
Associations of paper and newsprint merchants 
Printing Machinery Merchants 
Associatiojis of printers .... 
Associations of press workers 
Chambers of Commerce 
Newspapers and periodicals . 

News agencies ..... 

Features Syndicates ..... 
Associaton of Advertising Agencies/Advertisers 
Individual Advertising Agencies 
Newspaper Sales Agents ... 

Indian Council of World Affairs 
Associations of Photographers/Reporters . 

All India Political Parlies 
Bar Associations of Supreme/I ligh Courts 
Servants of India Society ... 

All India Womens’ Council . . . . ! 

Library Association (All India Idbrary Conference) 

P. E. N. . ! 

Vice-Chancellors of Indian Universities . 

Central and State Governments 
Audit Bureau of Circulations 
Indian Newspapers’ Cooperative Society . 

Bharat Paper Mills Ltd. 


4 

86 

2 

4 

5 
E3 

7 

lOI 

15 

3 

2 

10 

4 
1 

3 

Ui 

18 

1 

1 

I 

I 

31 

27 

I 

1 



1 

3 

4 
8 

2 
3 

T 


I 

I 


2 

16 

I 

I 

1 


4 


In addition, the Commission supplied copies of their terms of reference to 
101 individuals in response to which 70 memoranda were received. The 
total number of Preliminary Memoranda received came to 151. 

7. General Questionnaire. — After considering the preliminary memoranda, 
the Commission prepared at their December 1952 Session, a General Question- 
naire. Besides the preliminary memoranda, the Commission drew on the 
reports of the Royal Commission on the Press in the United Kingdom, the 
American Commission and the Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh Inquiry 
Committees. The questions were designed to elicit information and opinion 
on all aspects of the various problems covered by the Commission’s terms 
of reference. Copies of the General Questionnaire (Appendix A) were 
printed by the middle of January, 1953 and sent to all those who had sent 
in preliminary memoranda as well as to all Members of Parliament, Vice- 
Chancellors, Chambers of Commerce, All-India and State political parties, 
Central and State Governments, Schools of Journalism, Editors of all news- 
papers/periodicals, associations of working journalists, professional organi- 
sations like the Indian and Eastern Newspapers Society, All India News- 
paper Editors’ Conference, Indian Federation of Working Journalists, Indian 
Languages Newspapers’ Association, South Indian Journalists’ Federation and 
various other interests connected with the Press. According to the size of 
each legislature, a number of copies of the General Questionnaire were 
supplied to the Secretaries of State Legislatures for distribution to members 
interested, and additional copies were offered if required. Copies were also 
supplied to the members of the public, on demand. Over 1,000 copies were 
sent by the Commission even without a demand to those who, in the view ^ 

of the Commission, were likely to be interested or whose experience or 
advice would be helpful. The la.st date fixed for the receipt of replies 
was the 28th February, but in response to requests from bodies like the 
All India Newspaper Editors’ Conference, the date was extended up to the 
22nd March, 1953. A large number of the replies reached the Commission 
long after this date and some were coming in right up to the time when the 
Commission concluded the collection of information and had started on the 
preparation of the report. Some of the State Governments sent in their 
replies only just before their representatives were due to appear before tlie 
Commission to tender oral evidence. 


Analysis of replies to the General Questionnaire 


1 

2 

3 

4 
s 
6 

7 

8 
9 

TO 

IT 

12 


Members of Parliament (both Houses) 

M. L. As. and M. L. (7s. through .Secretaries of 
State Legislatures ...... 

Ministers of Central and State Governments includ- 
ing Parliamentary Secretaries .... 

Vice-Chancellors of Universities .... 

Chambers of (Commerce etc. . . . . . 

All India Political Parties ..... 

State Political Parties ..... 

Government of India and State Governments . 
Associations of newsprint/paper merchants 
Associations of Printers ..... 

Medical Council of India, etc. .... 

Supreme Court and High Court Bar Associations . 


1 Number 
addressed 

Replies 

received 

I (’yo 

3 

I 1^015 

4 

1 255 


1 29 


1 290 


! 16 j 

1 I 

1 ^4,5 

4 

1 27 

22 

6 I 

2 

1 -15 ( 

2 

' 3 

I 

I? ' 

I 


I 


V 



5 


IT 


1 


13 

14 

15 

16 

17 

18 

19 


20 


21 


22 

23 

24 


Learned Societies .... : 

Engineering Associations 

Eleads of Departments of Political Science in va- 1 
nous Universities in India 
Schools of Journalism . 

Editors of all newspapers and periodicals . 

Associations of Working Journalists . . . ; 

Associations of Editors (All India Newspapers Edi- 
tors’ Conference, etc.) . . j 

Associations of Proprietors (Indian and Eastern News- 1 
papers Society and Indian Language News- ! 
papers Association) . . . i 

Associations of Advertisers etc. (Audit Bui eau of 
Circulation, Advertising Agencies Association of ; 
India and Indian Society of Advertisers, etc.) ! 
Members of the public . . . . * 

Indian News Agencies and Feature Syndicates . ^ 

Advertising Agencies in India . . . . | 


Number 

addressed 


141 


88 


1,350 

39 

300 


Replies 

received 


13 

1 

2 

4 
1 1 1 
41. 


I 


5 

77 

5 

10 


:i 1,780 , 318 


8. It will be seen that out of 670 Members of both the Houses of Parlia- 
ment addressed by the Press Commission, replies to the General Question- 
naire were received only from three. Out of 1,015 invitations addressed 
to Members of the State Legislatures, only four elicited replies. The res- 
^ ponso from 145 State Political Parties was equally poor, while, of the 16 
*1 all India political parlies, only one offered its views. There was no response^ 

from any one of the 29 Vice-Chancellors addressed by the Commission. Of 
the 1,350 members of the public, to whom copies of the General Question- 
naire were supplied voluntarily or on request, only 77 sent in their views. 
The Commission addressed the General Questionnaire to the editors of all 
newspapers and periodicals numbering 7.335; response was received onlv 
from 111 of them. 


9, Factual Data.-— The Commission decided to obtain factual information 
from the various sectors concerned with the enquiry, under the legal powers 
conferred under the Commissions of Inquiry Act, 1952. Five questionnaires 
(Q. 1 to Q. 5, Appendices B to G) framed for the purpose were sent by 
registered post in the middle of January 1953 to the proprietors (by name 
where known) of newspapers/periodicals, news agencies, feature syndicates 
and advertising agencies. The recipients were asked to complete and return 
the Statements together with necessary documents, so as to reach the office 
of the Commission by the 28th February, 1953. In the Statements, details 
were to be filled in of the name, place of publication, language, general 
nature of contents, date of establishment, type and quantum of printing and 
composing machinery employed, circulation, size, ownership, management 
and control, contents, advertisement revenue, news services subscribed to 
and/or correspondents employed, details of staff employed and a statement 
of accounts. 


10. The Commission printed 18,000 copies of the Statement of Facts (Q. 1) 
00^^ copies of the covering letter. Copies were issued to the proprietors 
000. newspapers and periodicals (dailies 642, weeklies 2,467, monthlies 
2,381 and others 1,845). Additional copies of the questionnaire were supplied 
on demand. By 28th February, 1953, replies were received only from two 


dailies, 17 weeklies, 19 fortnightiies, 47 monthlies, 7 quarterlies and 8 others, 
making in all a total of 100. At the same time, representations were also 
received from newspaper associations like the Indian and Eastern News- 
papers Society, the Indian Languages Newspapers Association and also from 
individual newspapers, for an extension of time. The date for the submis- 
sion of replies was extended up to the 22iid March, 1953 but even by that 
date returns had been received only from 12 dailies, one bi-weekly, 74 
weeklies, 35 fortnightiies, 173 monthlies, 30 quarterlies and 28 others: total 
352. 

11. At their meeting held on the 4th and 5th April, 1953, the Commission 
reviewed the response and expressed regret and disappointment at the 
failure of the majority of proprietors of newspapers and periodicals to furnish 
the Statements ol Facts. It was decided to give the proprietors a final oppor- 
tunity to submit their replies up to the 30th April, 1953; if replies were not 
received by that date, the Commission would proceed to exercise the powers 
vested in them under the Commissions of Inquiry Act, 1952. This decision 
was made known through a Press Note dated 5th April, 1953, copies of which 
were addressed to all those newspapers/periodicals from wdiom the Statement 
of Facts had not been received. It was also decided to request Sri A. R. Bhat, 
President, Indian Language Newspapers Association and Sri A. D. Mani, 
Vice-President, Indian and Eastern Newspapers Society and President All 
India Newspapers Editors’ Conference to issue an appeal to their members 
to expedite submission of replies. In April 1953 notices were issued to the 
proprietors of those papers which had not put in their returns, asking them 
to show cause why action should not be taken against them for having failed 
to furnish the information. These measures produced some result and 
replies were received by the 30th April, 1953 from 82 dailies, 7 bi-weeklies, 
178 w^eeklie.N 64 fortnightiies, 313 monthlies, 55 quarterlies and 40 others: 
total 739. 

12. In order to get over the difficulties experienced by the proprietors of 
periodicals in filling in the Statements of Facts, the Commission decided 
in July, 1953 to insist only on brief particulars in their case, viz., name of 
the publication; language; place of publication and date of establishment; 
net paid circulation; price; periodicity; regularity; nature of its contents; 
owmership; ownership of the press a! which the publication is printed; whe- 
ther it carries advertisements from Government or public bodies; advertise- 
ment tariff; copies of the income and expenditure statements from 1945 
onwards up to the present year or from the date of establishment if it was 
started later than 1945; staff and their scales of pay and allowances and a 
few copies of the publication. 

13. Though the Commission had the legal powers to launch prosecutions 
against the proprietors of newspapers and periodicals for their failure to 
submit the factual information called for, the Commission decided not to 
resort to this course. Instead they decided to issue summons under Section 4 
of the Commissions of Inquiry Act, 1952, to the defaulting proprietors for 
personal appearance with documents, where they were resident within 200 
miles of the place fixed for attendance or to produce information if they 
were resident beyond this distance. The Commission issued summons for 
personal appearance or production of the necessary information to the pro- 
prietors of 251 newspapers and periodicals. Those who failed to comply 
with this direction were called upon, by virtue of section 4 of the Commis- 
sions of Inquiry Act, 1952, to produce the necessary books and accounts 
before the Chairman or an officer of the Commission’s Secretariat empowered 



7 


for the purpose, and to show cause why they should not be prosecuted under 
Section 175 of the Indian Penal Code or why a warrant of arrest should not 
^ be issued against them for compelling their attendance at the specified place. 

14. While a considerable amount of information was collected by such 
persistence, it has to be recorded with regret that some of the proprietors 
completely ignored requests, reminders, show cause notices, and summonses 
for personal appearance or production of information issued by the Commis- 
sion. Since the bulk of the information required had been collected and 
the work of the Commission was coming to an end, further action against 
the defaulters was dropped. 

15. Similar questionnaires calling for factual information were addressed 
to the proprietors of news agencies, feature syndicates and advertising 
agencies. Though the response received to these questionnaires by the 28th 
February, 1953 was not adequate, it was not considered necessary to grant 
a general extension of date for submission of replies. The following table 
shows the number of questionnaires issued and the replies received thereto: 


Name of 
the ques- 
tionnaire 

Addressed lo 

Number 
i addressed 

No. of 
' addresses 
reported 
ceased 

1 . No. of 

j Balance replies 

{ 'received 

! 

Q2 

Indian News Agencies 

21 1 

9 

12 12 

Q3 

Foreign News Agencies in 
; India. 

i 

14 ; 

^ 1 

12 12 

Q4(A) 

Indian Feature Syndicates ' 

-3 

14 . 

9 : 9 

Q4(B) ; 

i 

Foreign Features Syndi- ■ 
cates in India. 

11 1 

^ 1 

4 4 

Q5 I 

Advertising Agencies 

393 

185 ^ 

1 

208 ! I 14 


16. The Commission also framed a questionnaire to obtain factual infor- 
mation in regard to the working of Foreign Information Services in India 
(Appendix H). The questionnaire was addressed to 40 Missions operating 
in India and replies were received from 33. We should express our appre- 
ciation of the extent to which the foreign Information Services have assisted 
us in our study of their working and the generally helpful manner in which 
they have answered our questions. 

17. Research Section. — To assist in their survey of the state of the Press 
in the country, the Press Commission decided to set up a Research Section 
for the following three objects: — 

(1) Analysis of the newspaper content to determine the standards 

of accuracy in the presentation of news and fairness in the 
presentation of views; 

(2) Examination of the control, management, ownership and financial 

structure of newspapers and periodicals; 

(3) Statistical studies of the factual data available. 


The Section was divided into three units: — 

(J) Journalistic: To examine the contents of Ihe newspapers. This unit 
started working from the middle of March and was closed on the 30th 
August, 1953, though the post of Research and Coordination Officer (News- 
paper Content) was continued for a further period of one month. 

(2) Financial: The Financial Section established at Bombay undertook 
a study of the financial structure of newspapers, with special reference to 
capital investment, loans, re i urn on investment, revenues, cost of production, 
consumption of newsprint, salary structure, pricing policy, methods of com- 
petition and unfair practices. The financial implications of advertisements, 
their distribution, present volume, future scope, distribution of Government 
advertisements and the wmrking of Advertising Agencies were also studied. 
An examination of the existence of common ownership, control and manage- 
ment among newspapers, their growTh and forms, economic factors leading 
to their formation and the existence of monopolies was also undertaken. 
This section was set up in the end of April, 1953 and continued up to Feb- 
ruary, 1954, when the Economic Assistants w^ere disbanded, but the Research 
and Coordination Officer continued up to the 30th June, 1954. 

(3) Statistical: This section was set up in April, 1953 and contiiihed up 
to the end of February 1954. It was supervised by a part-time officer on 
loan from the Central Statistical Organisation. This section carried out the 
tabulation of data regarding the daily press w'hich was contained in the 
retiums submitted by the papers on such subjects as employ me ot, and also 
the analysis of data collected by the Sample Survey. 

18. Sample Survey. — Though other inquiries into the working of the I'ress 
have not included any study of the newspaper reader, his likes and dis- 
likes, the Commission felt that a survey of a sample of the readers w’ould 
prove of use in their work. In carrying out the survey, the Commission 
were able to secure the assistance of the Central Statistical Organisation 
attached to the Cabinet Secretariat and the National Sample Survey in the 
Ministry of Finance. The data collected w^as tabulated by the Indian Statis- 
tical Institute, Calcutta, to the requirements of the Commission and analysed 
in the Commission’s Secretai iat. The report on the findings is reproduced 
in Appendix I, to which special attention is invited. Reference to relevant 
conclusions have been made in the body of the report at appropriate places. 

19 . Machinery and Newsprint, — Item (v) of the terms of reference of the 
Commission called upon the Commission to examine “the adequacy of new^s- 
print supplies and their distribution among all classes of newspapers and 
the possibilities of promoting indigenous manufacture of newsprint and 
printing and composing machinery”. At their meeting held in December 
1952, the Commission felt that the nature of the evidence that was likely 
to be placed before them would require technical scrutiny. It might also 
be necessary to supplement that evidence possibly by arranging technological 
tests to judge the suitability of some of the suggestions for newsprint manu- 
facture. The subject of printing and composing machinery, the Commission 
felt, was also beset wuth technical problems and would involve a study 
of the position regarding patents. In the sphere of composing machines, 
much exploratory work had to be done to make mechanical composition 
possible for a number of Indian languages. The Commission, therefore, 
moved the Government of India in January 1953 for the appointment of two 
expert enquiries, one for newsprint and the other for the printing and com- 
posing machinery. It w^as suggested that the experts should report to the 


Commission within a specified period of time sufficiently in advance of the 
date by which the Commission would complete their inquiry. 

20. In their reply dated the 6th February, 1953, the Government of India 
appreciated the fact that the industrial aspects of newsprint and of printing 
and composing machinery entailed a more detailed technical examination 
than could be undertaken by the Press Commission in the course of their 
general enquiry into the state ot the Press in India, its present and future 
lines of development. They held that a parallel technical inquiry into the 
question of raw materials, the availability of technical skill, etc. required to 
set up an indigenous industry would take considerable time and it was 
conceivable that a detailed study into the various methods of manufacture 
obtaining in several countries might have to be made. As the Commission’s 
programme had, however, to be fixed in relation to the time available for 
the main inquiry, the Governmenl of India suggested that the Commission 
might consider dealing with that aspect of item (v) of the specific terms of 
reference which would be conveniently examined as part of their general 
inquiry as far as adequacy of nev/sprint supplies and their distribution and 
the demand for printing and composing machinery and its likely future 
trends were concerned. 

21. Studies abroad.-~-During the middle of 1953, Dr. C. P, Rama.swami 
Aiyar and Dr. V. K. R. V. Rao had occasion to visit United Kingdom and 
United States of America respectively in connection with their public acti- 
vities. The Commission took the opportunity to request them to undertake 
study, during their visits, of the question of sources of foreign news for the 
Press in India including the nature of contribution made by Indian corres- 
pondents abroad and the facilities available to them in the discharge of their 
functions. 

22. Oral evidence. — From the 5th October, 1953, the Commission entered 
on the second phase of the enquiry: recording oral evidence from witnesses 
summoned for the purpose. The evidence in Delhi continued from 5th to 
the 31st October. Thereafter the Commission met in Madras from the 16th 
to 27th November, in Bombay from the 1st to 11th December, 1953, and in 
Calcutta from the 28th December, 1953 to the 12th January, 1954. The rest 
of the witnesses were examined in Delhi during the Commission’s .session 
from the 27th January to the 5th March, 1954. The total number of wit- 
nesses examined by the Commission came to 414 of whom 151 were examined 
at Delhi, 77 at Madras, 101 at Bombay and 85 at Calcutta. A list of the 
winesses who appeared before the Commission for oral evidence is given 
in Appendix II. 

23. The Commission examined carefully the question whether witnesses 
would be examined in open session or in camera. A representation was 
made to the Commission that sessions in camera would prevent the public 
from knowing from time to time the progress of the inquiry and the nature 
of the evidence tendered to it. It was also argued that the practice of taking 
evidence in camera would encourage some witnesses to make irresponsible 
statements. On the other hand, there was also the point that premature 
disclosure of the evidence tendered by one witness might handicap the Com- 
mission when they have to examine another witness on the same subject. 
Moreover, many working journalists were reluctant to enter into a frank 
discussion of their difficulties in an open session for fear of being punished 
by their employers for their frankness. It was suggested that if evidence 
was taken in public, there would be a tendency on the part of witnesses to 



play to the gallery. The Commi.ssion came to the conclusion that the balance 
of advantage lay in the evidence being kept confidential during the course 
of the inquiry, and therefore decided to examine all witnesses in camera. 
The deliberations of the Commission were also kept confidential, and Press 
releases were confined to a review of the progress made or the names of the 
witnesses examined. 

24. History and development of journalism in India. — Considering their 
terms of reference to enquire into the state of the Press in India, its present 
and future lines of development and to make recommendations thereon, the 
Commission decided at their session in Delhi in December 1952 that their 
report should contain a chapter on the History and Development of Journa- 
lism in India to serve as a background to the enquiry. The chapter was 
not intended to be an exhaustive treatise on the subject but should contain 
a broad but concise survey of the developments particularly during the last 
35 years, both of the English language and the Indian language Press. The 
chapter, it was intended, should bring out the historical tendencies in so far 
as they affected the present state of Press. For this purpose, sanction was 
obtained for the appointment of Sri J. Natarajan, Editor of the ‘Tribune’, 
Arnbala, who had for some time served as a Member of the Press Commis- 
sion, on an honorarium to write the chapter.. The draft prepared by him 
and modified and approved by the Commission appears as Part II of the 
report. 

25. Duration of Inquiry.— When the Commission met for the first time 
in October 1952, they decided that in view of the terms of reference and the 
investigation necessary, the time-limit fixed by the Government of India 
for the Commission’s report might be difficult to adhere to and it might be 
necessary to ask for its extension. This viewpoint was made known through 
a Press Note issued by the Commission on 11th October 1952. At the Decem- 
ber 1952 meeting, the Commission reviewx^d the position and held that it 
would not be possible for them to complete the enquiry by the 1st March, 
1953, It was decided to recommend to the Government of India an exten- 
sion of the time up to 31st October, 1953, in the first instance. The Govern- 
ment of India accepted the Commission’s recommendation and extended 
the date up to 31st October, 1953. The question was again reviewed at the 
July /August 1953 meeting of the Commission held in Delhi. While the 
Commission had been able to collect factual information from a majority 
of daily newspapers, new^s agencies, feature syndicates and many of the 
advertising agencies, the information had been so long delayed that the 
setting up of the Research Section and the preparation of factual reports 
preliminary to the taking of oral evidence wms also postponed. The position 
was explained to the Government of India who accepted the Commission’s 
recommendation, vide their Notification No. 10/9/53-IP, dated 23rd October, 
1953, and extended the time for completion of the inquiry to 31st July, 1954. 

26. In their letter dated the 13th December, 1953, the Government of 
India asked the Commission to submit an interim report on the question 
of safeguarding conditions of wmrking journalists and the settlement of dis- 
putes between them and their employers. At the time the reference was 
received, the Commission had examined a number of witnesses in Delhi, 
Madras and Bombay, but the taking of oral evidence had not been com- 
pleted. Further, the matters at issue were linked up with the general ques- 
tion of healthy development of the Press in the country, and could not be 
dealt with in isolation. The Government of India were, therefore, informed 
in Chairman’s letter dated the 5th January, 1954 that it would not be feasible 



* for the Commission to draw up an interim report on these questions, but the 
Commission hoped to be able to submit their report to Government earlier 
that the date fixed for the purpose. It was pointed out that if the new 
Industrial Relations Bill was introduced in Parliament before submission 
of the Commission's report, it should be made clear both in the Statement of 
Objects and Reasons and in the Minister’s speech that whatever definition 
of “workmen” was provisionally adopted, it would be without prejudice to 
the recommendations of the Press Commission with regard to the inclusion 
of working journalists within that definition and that, if necessary, Govern- 
ment would propose the requisite amendment in the light of the recommen- 
dations of the Commission. 


27. Meetings of the Commission. — The Commission held 13 meetings on 
the dates and places mentioned below: — 


Place of meeting. 


I . - i 

New Delhi 

IT ■ ' 

New Delhi 

III 

New Delhi 

IV . -I 

Ootacamund 

. ; 

Bombay 

VI 

New Delhi 

V II . . ; 

New Delhi 

VIII 

1 Madras 

IX 

1 Bombay 

X 

Calcutta 

XI 

i New Delhi 

XIT 

■ Simla 

XIII 

: Bombay 


Dates of the meeting. 


I 11th and i 2 Oct. 1952. 
j 6th to 19th Dec. 1952. 

; 4th and sth April, 1953. 

; i8th to 30th May 1953. 

' 7th June 1953 (Sub-Committee). 

27th July to I2th August 1953 * 

! 28th Sept, to 31st Oct. 1953 - 
: j 6 ih Nov. to 27th November 1953. 
: isf to Tith Dec. 1953. 

28th Dec. 1953 to 13th Jan. 1954. 

; 27ih Jan. to 5th March 1954. 

' 17th May to 14th June 1954. 

: 14th July, 1954 - 


28. Acknowledgment. — We should like to express our thanks to those who 
replied to our questionnaires and to the newspaper organisations who 
took considerable trouble to collect information and also gave us the benefit 
of their views and suggestions. We are also indebted to the witnesses who, 
sometimes at considerable inconvenience to themselves, came to give evia- 
ence. We are particularly thankful to the three Chief Ministers Sri Raja- 
gopalachari, Sri Morarji Desai and Dr. Roy and the three Ministers of Central 
Government Dr. Katju, Sri Giri and Dr. Keskar who gave us the benefit 
of their views and experience. We .should express our great appreciation 
of the thoroughness and the zeal with which Sri J. Natarajan has tackled 
the preparation of the history of journalism in this country and the co- 
operation he has given us in re-arranging the material in the manner suggest- 
ed by us. 

29. We are indebted to our first Secretary, late Sri M. L. Chowla, former- 
ly Director of News, Ail India Radio, who saw to the smooth inauguration 
of the work of the Press Commission and whose promising career was so 
prematurely cut short by his sudden and untimely death in February 1953. 
His experience of news work and administration, his hard work and affabi- 
lity were assets which he brought to bear on the thorough and efficient 
discharge of his duties. The void created by his death has been most com- 
petently filled by his successor Sri S. Gopalan, Deputy Director General 



12 


h^ ih!' so kindly made available to us 

a«, r m T ? lo^ormalmn and Broadcasti,ig. Hi.s remarkably wide and 

. -I at< knowledge ot newspaper industry, even on its technical statistical 
and enguneering sides, and his comprehensive grasp of its problems have 
been of the greatest assistance to us. His grasp of facts Ihis int ii * i 

cqu,pTO„l hai^d ,,„d ’ re„det"“our 

,;;S r'isr, rr 

bruM .bp .d„|, 

Khanna, our Assistant Secretary, who has discharged his duties most efficient 
y. wi hout giving rise to the slightest friction and to he^^mS sfti fac" 

!" f Commission. We notice with pTcasure 2t 

has iccently been promoted to a higher post Sri N "n n 

Officer ,bc Income Tax Departmen.^; rcbort Ee,Sr”h 

or Imance and Stalialics- Althonp-h entirely ne^ l„ au“mc" h„ •br- 
and of dinck ftrarp of the problems with which we had lo deal 

Ibrlily, ”r'n?„sfry‘’'^e":e‘’7^^ >■“ 

b..r tmre"„r.« ‘pl.^ h" »' 

ncc'l'"j»Sr'sScaT«:dTr1fi" “' *'■« ■••‘•‘anoe rendered ,n con- 
murti, Joint Directors of m o , 0 / Subramamam and Dr. B. Rama- 
Secretariat, Prof. H Ghosh 
and Sri N. C. Ghosh of^te 

to our 2^tle'SScfon-\:l;oLl^^^^ 

;,r .^ior 


f 



CHAPTER II 

NEWSPAPERS AND PERIODICALS 

32. Lack of reliable Statistics.-~The Commission realised that before 
commencing its inquiry into the state of the Press in the country, its first 
task was to ascertain the total number of newspapers and periodicals in 
existence, their circulation, language, contents and periodicity. In the 
expectation that authentic statistics would be available with the Govern- 
ment of India and with the State Governments, the Commission at its first 
meeting held in Delhi in October, 1952, started work on the preparation of 
a consolidated list. State Governments were approached by telegrams on 
the 16th October and by letters on the 17th October. 1952, requesting that 
lists of newspapers and periodicals, containing full particulars of each 
publication be forwarded within two weeks. The lists were received from 
the State Governments after several weeks, and varied in the nature of the 
information supplied. Most of them did not contain any description of the 
periodicals, some did not give the names of the proprietors and some did not 
furnish complete addresses. Many of the lists were a year old, or more. 
Furthei, when compared with the records of the Press Information Bureau 
of the Government of India, they showed considerable divergences. The lists 
received from the State Governments and the Press Information Bureau 
were put together and a combined mailing list was drawn up. 

33. As it was feared that some of the particulars might not be correct 
or adequate, extracts from the combined list were forwarded to the State 
Governments on 20th January, 1953 with the request that the lists might be 
scrutinised and corrections, additions or alterations necessary might be 
carried out so that further action could be taken. In the meanwhile, the 
Commission found that hundreds of letters which they had addressed to the 
publishers on the basis of the list were being returned undelivered. The 
list of undelivered letters was classified according to States, and the addres- 
ses were checked with the lists received back from the State Governments 
after revision. Letters were re-despatched where fresh information was 
available, and the lists of the names left over were forwarded to the State 
Governments for further check, in the third week of February, 1953, Replies 
were then received that over 700 publications listed by them had ceased 
to exist some time earlier, and that the State Governments had no infor- 
mation about 58 publications listed. The addresses of nearly 200 periodicals 
had to be revised on the basis of fresh information received from State 
Governments in cancellation of what they had sent earlier. 

34. Since these revised lists related to different dates, it was decided to 
prepare a fresh list of newspapers and periodicals published in India as on 
1st January 1953. In consequence, a list of dailies and weeklies culled 
from the revised list was forwarded to each State Government with the 
request that it should be brought up to date as on 1st January 1953. V7hen 
these lists were received back from State Governments after scrutiny, 
they were found to contain some errors still. Almost every one of them 
contained names of publications which, according to information that had 
independently reached the Commission, had ceased to exist, in some cases 



14 


more than a year or two before the date specified. The lists contained 
also the names of some publications for which declarations under the Press 
and Registration of Books Act, 1867 had been filed but the publications had 
never come out. (Thi.s however had not prevented the State Governments 
from furnishing figures of “circulation” for such papers!) Some of the 
papers had changed their periodicities but there was no record of the change 
in the State Government lists. 

.15. The official lists of daily new.spapers also included a number of 
publications which were not newspapers as such, but commercial leaflets 
racing schedules or pamphlets of the nature of market reports. Such 
publications had to be re-classified separately. Many papers had come into 
existence m 19.')2 in connection with elections, and had ceased publication 
as soon as the elections were over, but they continued to be borne on the 
State Government lists. 

.36, The representatives of the State Governments who appeared before 
the Commission were asked Ihe reasons for the chaolic condition 
oi the statKstics. All of them admitted that the statistics were 
defective and that very little attempt had been made to maintain them 
up-to-date. Even though the rules made in each State under the Press and 
Regnstration of Books Act specify that copies of each publication must be 
forwarded 1o some named officers, no methods were devised and no efforts 
weie devoted to verilying whether copies were in fact being sent. 

37, Copies not filed for record.— For the purpose of our scrutiny of the 
contents of newspapers and periodicals, we attemped to refer to the copies 
that should have been filed with the State Governments and found that 
su(h files were not being maintained properly, and it was .difficult to locate • 
and con.sult the copies required. For the successful discharge of their res- 
ponsibilities under the various laws governing printed publications, it is 
essential that the State Governments who are the administrative authorities 
should have a complete file of every publication that is brought out. We 
found, however, that no steps had been taken in cases where copies had not 
been received to ascertain whether copies had in fact been printed and 
distributed to the public, or whether the paper had discontinued publication. 

In one State, the practice, we were told, was to send out a reminder to the 
publisher in such case,s calling upon him to file a copy, but if the cony was 
not received, no further action would be taken. It is quile conceivable that 
publishers adopted the practice of withholding copies of an,v publication 
which contained objectionable matter. Asked bow this could be guarded 
against, the reply of the State Governments was only that if the copies came 
to their notice through the police as containing objectionable matter they 
would then lake action. ’ * 

38. Data only approximate— A statement is attached (Appendix III 

to the report) showing the number of publications which the Commission 

could locate or identify. It should not be a matter of surprise if the total < 

number of such publication shows a considerable fall from the figures 
shown in the History of Journalism. This should not be taken to imply 
number of publications went out of business coincidentally 
with the appomtment of the Commission: it means only that the statistics of 

Ihe Pre.ss m the country are now being put in some order which would have 

relevance to the facts. 

39. It is a matter for regret that a country like India, which has produced 
capable exponents of the art of journalism, should have been content to 
remain v/ith the most grossly inaccurate statistics of the publications them- 
selves. Even the table, that has been compiled by the Commission, would be 


liable to correction. While we have taken all possible precautions to elimi- 
nate papers that have discontinued publication, we cannot be sure that ail 
those currently in existence have in fact been included. We have continued 
to receive, from various State Governments, supplements to their list of 
publications. These additions consist of papers which had come into existence 
earlier than the 1st January, 1953, but whose existence was reported to us 
for the first time in 1954. For example, the Mysore Government 
reported to us in January, 1954 20 new names, including 4 dailies. For the 
first time in February, 1954 the Bombay Government intimated the names 
of 588 periodicals which had been classed by them as “books”, and of 20 
monthlies classed as “newspapers”; they also reported 8 more dailies, 
2 weeklies and one bi-weekly in April 1954. Orissa supplied in March 1954 
a list of 44 periodical publications classed by them as “books” and the Punjab 
Government reported the addition of 3 dailies (one ceased since and two 
irregular) in April, 1954. The Uttar Pradesh Government reported for the 
first time in May, 1954 the names of 19 more daily papers. While expressing 
regret for tlic inconvenience caused on account of variations in tiie list of 
newspapers and periodicals, the State Government said: “The circumstances 
stated above, it is hoped, will make it clear that no up to date list completely 
free from errors can possibly be prepared”. If State Governments, after one 
year of intensive pressure from us, are unable to furnish up to date lists even 
of dailies, the accuracy of the lists of weeklies and periodicals can well be 
imagined. 

40. Daily newspapers. — Considering first the daily newspapers, it may be 
said that there are about 330 of them current]}" being published (including 
editions publisiied from different centres) and their total circulation is just 
over 25 lakhs. The figures have to be approximate in the circumstances, but 
it may be mentioned that if there are a few more newspapers that have not 
been included, they would be essentially those with small circulations. 

41. For our examination, we have classified daily newspapers according to 
their language and their circulation in the list appended to thes report 
(Appendix IV). In addition to the papers in the major languages indicated 
in ibe Constitution, a few papers are published in minor ruclian languages 
such as Sindhi, Manipuri etc. An abstract is given in the following table: 

TABLE I 

Number of ; Circuiaiion 
papers 

ffVtal ! (lakhs) 

4J i 6.97 

76 I 3-79 

I : 0.03 

7 I 2. 40 

23 ' ^-^7 

25 I 0.72 

21 : T.96 

26 ; 1.91 

3 i 0-43 

9 ■ 0.23 

12 I 1.68 

6 I 0.98 

70 ; 2.13 

320 ; 23 . 10 


9 i O. 15 

I ! 0.005 


English 

Hindi 

Assamese ...... 

Bengali ....... 

Gujarati ...... 

Kannada ...... 

Malaya lam ..... 

Marathi ...... 

Oriya ....... 

Punjabi ...... 

Tamil ....... 

Telugii 

Urdu 

Total : English and major Indian languages 

Minor Indian Languages 

Chinese ...... 



16 

42. Table II below analyses daily newspapers according to the State in 
which they are published. The population of each State is also given in the 


TABLE II 


Serial 

No. 

I 

Name of State 

2 

! 1 

{Population Total 

1 (Lakhs) j number 

1 1 of daily 

i : news- 

i 1 papers 

! 3 1 4 

j English 
i papers 

1 

! 

1 5 

♦Indian 

language 

papers 

6 

I 

Assam . . _ 

; 90 

1 2 

I 

I 

2 

Bihar 

4,02 

! 

1 

1 9 

' 2 

1 

1 '7 

3 

Bombay . . 

3,60 

1 69 


61 

4 

Madhya Pradesh . 

2,12 

! 

i 

1 

' 2 

9 

5 

Madras 

: 5 i 70 

i 25 

4 

21 

6 

Orissa 

' I >46 

! 4 

I 

3 

7 

Punjab 

T ,26 

21 

r 

20 

8 

Uttar Pradesh 

6,32 

49 

6 j 

43 

9 

Wcsi Bengal 

2,48 

! 26 

4 ; 

§22 

TO 

Hyderabad .... 

1 1-87 

17 

4 1 

13 

II 

Madhya Bharat 

80 

9 

i 

9 

T 2 

Mysore . . 

91 

25 

2 1 

23 

13 

Pepsu . . 

i 35 

2 1 


2 

M 

Rajasthan . . , . 

^53 

6 ! 


6 

^5 

Saurashira 

41 

j 1 


• 

3 

i6 

Travancore«Cochin 

! : 

19 1 


19 

17 

Ajmei' .... 

1 - 

1 1 

i 

6 


0) 

i8 

Bhopal .... 

' 8 1 

i 

3 i 

i 

3 

19 

Delhi ... 

17 j 

^ 9 | 

6 

T 3 

20 

Kutch ... 

6 

1 

3 


3 

21 

Manipur . . , . 

6 

2 


2 

♦ T 

I 

1 


330 

41 

§289 


♦Includes minor Indian languages, Sindhi, Manipuri etc. 
^Includes one Chinese. 


It will be noticed that while in some States the number of newspapers pub- 
lished IS higher than the average for the whole country, (which is roughly 
one newspaper for about 12 lakhs of population) there are many States in 
w ich the number is not even half that average. Newspapers, however 
circulate quite freely from one State to another, and it is not, therefore,’ 



17 


possible to assess Iron) this table the adeqiiaey of the number of newspapers 
circulating in any State. 

4,b Out of The total, nearly ‘10 newspapers are published in the four 
metPopolitan centres — Dellii, Bombay, Madras and Calcutta. .Papers pmlilish- 
ed irom the Capitals of Part 'A\ ‘H’ and ‘C’ States actount for another 80,. 
Over no newspapers are published from towns of over 100,000 population, 
and less than fiO newspapers from towns of smaller size as will be seen trom 
Table III below:-- 

TABLE III 

Daily newspapers (Not less than six issues per week). 


4 \ 


I 

' < 


CO 

W 


CO 

O 


- c- . 

O JD 

'jc *5 



i 



ct 

rC 

i 

1 

S-. 

o 

cn 
j CL, 

! W-< 

1 o 

o 

igj 

^ CO 

P- 

i ^ 
'?. 8 


0 

c; 

Ih 

Ci i- 
nj 



' CTj‘ 

( JD 

; V' 

1 

; 

73 

1 C/) 

■ "w 

! P 

1 ^ a 

; q 

^ Q 


' ^ t 

V as 


*o 

i B 

O 


cn 

! ‘a 

OS 

CTJ 

! ’o, 

at 

tj o 

1-5 ^ 

CJ o 
■5 ^4 

at 

O 

P.T3 

es 

fU 


: ^ 



U 

u 

U 


O 

O 


Hindi .... 

4 

2 


4 

12 

9 

3 


4 t 

76 

15 

Assamese .... 


I 







j 

T 1 

1 


Bengali .... 




n 



* ‘ 



7 


Gujarati . . 


5 




3 


12 

3 i 

23 


Kannada .... 






5 


T5 

i 

5 : 

25 

I 

Malayalam .... 



1 j 


. . 

4 


4 

13 

21 


Aiarathi .... 

! • • 

i 1 
' 7 ' 

1 ! 

j 

-» I 



13 1 

4 

i 

• • 1 

26 i 

I 

Oriya .... 

1 

i j 

1 ' ’ 

j ; 

1 

i 

j 

3 1 

! 

t 

. . i 

3 ; 


Punjabi ..... 


!.. 

j ! 

1 1 

i 

" i 




: 3 1 

! 

2 1 



Tamil ..... 



1 1 

I ! 

1 




1 ^ ! 

1 ' i 

T2 


Tclugu .... 

1 


2 1 

i 

1 


■ 


; 3 




Urdu 

1 9 1 

TO I 

I 1 

7 1 

} 

6 ! 

1 

H 

3 

; 19 1 

1 

70 

i 

1 TO 

English .... 


7 

4 j 

I 

4 ; 

1 

7 I 

2 ! 


5 ! 

! 

41 

; I 

Aiinor Indian lajiguages . ' 

' i 
" ! 

I ! 

* • i 

. . ! 



5 

•• 

1 3 ! 

9 

i ^ 

Foreign language . . | 

i 

1 

j 

' ' 1 


I 1 

i 



i_ 

1 

1 

1 . . 1 

I 


i 

/ 

_J9 1 

__32 J 

-| 

J..V. 

25 i 

31 

1 40 

II 

iTl6 

i 43 . 

330 

i 30 


(Note. — Multiple editions of daily newspapers have been classified 
rately in respect of each edition.)' 

18 Mofl&B. 


sepa- 


i.8 


exiJt'nnn Centres.— The availability of capital and the 

existence of potential readership, i.e. literacy combined with purchasing 

rior^’n/ir ‘"^Portant factors that determine the centres of newspaper produc- 
tion. Differences in political conditions and in the facilities for rapid and 
economical distribution of copies also influence the location of newspapeS 
t^m ^ published may not by itself be the most impor- 

natr ' uru"?'" “ satisfactory if, even though 

spread wiLw'^ Pi''culation had been 

iinn f. ® country. We find, however, that even if circula- 

^rl v tr th/'°"'! newspapers in this country are confined 

in rhLn.,.^ PaPilals. We have examined 

nno 1 I? circulation of daily newspapers in urban centres of over 

ne lakn population, and find that more than half of all the copies of daily 
newspapers are sold in such cities and towns. 


copies) are sold in the capitals of the States and the major townV These 
ti towns together account for only about 2J crores, or 7 per cent of 

the total population of the country. On the basis of 4 8 persons per f iniilv 
acre are .ij lakhs of households, among whom only 13.1 lakhs of copies of 

thrSLTvTakhr r four\ou.ziirut 

circulation of Enel h° '^''‘‘^ulation is made up of English newspapers. The 
circu ation of English newspapers in the urban areas is higher than the 
circulation of newspapers in any Indian language, the only Lception bei^g 

^ nffh ^ *’ieher circulation in the Eastern citi« of India 

than the English papers. Expressed in another form, two-thirds of the circu 
ation of all English papers is concentrated in the larger cities and towns and 
the corresponding proportion of Indian language newspapers is two-fifths. 


46. The reasons for the greater expansion of the metropolitan papers are 
mat .spending is concentrated more and more in the major cities and there is 

Further ‘^1° papers circulating mainly m the rural areas 

. urlliei, the persons who financed the expansion of big metropolitan naners 
M .,o, m>Ke ,u„on ,„all papers i„ the“SS“Sl, 

The succes.s of the district paper is always dependent upon the individual 
mitiative of the person concerned; if a man is really enterprising, fee papi 
a ays succeeds. But the great advantages possessed by the metropolitan 
pre.ss has tended to draw away from the districts the talent that might hLe 

“f th ^ ^ ’oral press. We do not consider concLtration 

of the Pre.ss in the metropolitan cities a desirable feature, however inevitable 
K was in the early stages of development. 


4i. Giowth in number and circuIation.-There has been a rapid growth 
u. the nuniber and circulation of daily newspapers in the country botr n 
English and in the Indian languages. While the starting of new paoers\as 
been mo.st marked m the former Princely States, where freedom of the Press 
did not, in the past, come anywhere near to that in the rest of the country 
circulation of fee newspapers had gone up in every State and in every 
language During the period of the war, newsprint shortages acted as a clamp 
on circulation, but once supplies were freed, there has been a rapid and 




19 


f 


A'Glcomc increase in the circulation of both English and Indian language 
'.iG! rs eveiywho'j-e, as can be seen from Table IV below: 

TABLE IV 


Da,^. „i- ^ Circulation" 

establish- : 1939 1947 

incut 


English — 

i 




'rimes of India 

: 1338 

i 51,481 

; 01,199 

94.231 

Mail 

1867 

1 

! ^ 7 i 730 

28,667 

34 ' 1 1 5 

Statesman 

: 1875 

.S [,.433 

69,456 

65,032 

Hindu 

1S78 

35 .i 495 

56>977 

65,748 

Hindustan Timc,s . 

1924 

! 12,361 

! 35.290 

48,141 

/iridian Languages 


1 



Swadesami trail 

1880 

1 

j J 3^700 

1 

32,707 

39.500 

Kerala Kaumudi 

J911 

j 950* 

1 iO ,507 i 

16,159 

Andlira Patrika 

1 

1 

i 3.635 

i 

: 8,850 1 

23,086 

Samaja . . . . 

1 ^919 

1 

5 ,000 

i 1 

12,000 j 

22,030 

Tej 

1 1923 

3.200 

i 12,600 j 

11,262 

Mathribhumi . 

; 1923 1 

7.000 ; 

19,027* ! 

25.^736 

Sholapur Samachar . . 

1930 1 

450 I 

I 

J ,000 j 

2,76® 

Sakai 

1 

J932 

9,500* 1 

17.396 1 

27,262 

Hindustan 

1 ^936 

8.144 1 

1 

20,212 j 

21,463 


(*Publishers’ figures). 


48. We could not get comparative figures for papers in Bengali etc and 
^even m the table above, certain figures marked with an asterisk are not for 
ihe particular year indicated but the nearest year for which figures were 
available. It would, however, be seen that there has been a large increase 
in circulations, though one or two papers have suffered as a result of the 
partition of the country. In each case the table above shows also the date 
when the paper was established so that a comparison could be made of the 
increase during the period 193.9-17-52 with what had been built up in the 
'decades preceding 1939. 


49. Development stiU inadequate.-While the growth of circulation of daily 
newspapers has been satisfactory in comparison with what existed a decade 
or so ago, it wiil be seen that the development of journaiism has rot been 
adequate m terms of the total population. In order to assess the prime causes 
for such lack of development, we included questions on the topic of non- 
readership in the JSTational Sample Survey on Readership and the findings 
are set out in a report in Appendix I. The survey covered a total of 875 
lilocks m the rural areas and 373 blocks in urban areas. Less than 5 per cent. 


in 545 rural })lock.s, or nearly fJO per cent, of the total, there was not even a 
single household which road a daily newspaper. Information derived from 
/lewa-ipapers could circuiaie even by w(jrd of mouth only in 40 per cent, of 
the blficks, and in the rest of ttie blocks, there was no supply of daily inf(;rma- 
tiof] through the medium of a newspaper. In the case of urban households, 
toe number (jf blocks without any daily newspaper was less than 4 per cent. 
(IM out of rind tluiugh on the whole only one-fifth of the Iviusehoids 

took to newspapers, the circulation o( news Ihrougli tlie medium of C'onv'er'a- 
lion and daily (sjutacls l)etween tire members rjf the population may be expeeted 
to result in fairly widespread dissemination of the news of the day in 95 per 
<‘en1. ot the Ihocks. U'e Irave reteia'ed in an earlier paragr’apii to the fart, 
that more than trad the (hrculation (d daily newspapers is in the larger caties,. 
i he analysis above shows up even more sharply tlie fact that the penetration 
ot daily newspa{)ers into the rural areas, which liouse the bulk of India’s 
population, has been very slight. The papers are concerned with the town 
dwellers, are produced by them and arc read mainly b.y them. 


50. Reasons for non-readership.— To elicit information on the reasons for 
non-readership and thereby to throw some light on the potential readership 
that exists today, certain questions were out to non-reader households. The 
most obvious and widespread reason for non-readership was, of course. Ihe 
lack of lileracy. The figure showed that in the sample rural areas, onlv 20 
per cent, of the non-reader households had one or more literate members. 
In urban blocks 4f per cent, of the non-reader households had ’me or more 
literate members. 4’liese results cannot be extended to the whole of the 
country without application of appropriate weights in respect of the National 
Survey. But even otherwise, they indicate that considerable scope exists for 
the expansion of readership even if only one member in each household could, 
become literate. 


51. Questions were put to non-reader households which happen to have 
at least one literate member whether there existed at present any interest 
in newspapers. Over 40 per cent, of the literate households in the rural areas 
and over .40 per cent, in the urban areas expressed themselves as interested 
in reading newspapers. It may be assumed that while all households, with a 
literate member may ultimately be expected to subscribe to a ne^espaper, 
active interest in news and current affairs exists even today in a substantial 
proportion of literate households both rural and urban. Growing interest in 
the functioning of local, political, (‘ultural and social institutions would soon 
stimulate interest also among the others. But those who already possess some 
interest in newspapers but do not at present take in a paper because of any 
particular reason offer scope for immediate expansion of circulation. On 
the basis of the number of literate households, who have expressed interest 
in newspapers, there exists an immediate potential for a very large increase in 
readership, much greater in the rural areas than in the urban areas. The 
figures of ihe Sample Surx^ey indicate that this increase could be of the order 
of 150 per cent, in rural areas and 50 per cent, in urban areas. 

52. The reasons for their not going in for newspapers at present are many. 
The most common is, of course, the cost of the newspaper and the inability 
of the household to spare the necessary amount. Another would be the lack 
of suitable arrangements on the part of the publishers to distribute the paper, 
making it necessary for the household to take spec-ial steps such as writin.g to 
the newspaper office in a distant town. The third would be the fact that the 
publication centre is not sufficiently close to the potential reader, with the 
re.sult that the new'spapers reach the village or town very late and after- 


!jnteresl in the news has lessened. The results of the survey indicate that liie 
reasons at present preventing interested households from going in for news- 
:papers are primarily the cost and the lack of distribution facilities. Tliere 
is obviously a real need for papers to be priced lower than they currently 
are. Further, the distribution arrangements of newspapers are not very 
.^^tisfactory. If these difficulties are removed, nearly 90 per cent, of the 
immediate expansion referred to in the previous paragraph may be achieved 
without much difficulty. 

5 : 1 . Scwpe of expansion. — Convincing proof, if proof were needed, of the 
scope for expansion if prices can be reduced, is provided by the experience 
;of certain newspapers in Bombay and Delhi which claim to have succeeded 
in securing very large increases in circulation when they reduced their prices 
without reducing the number of pages, as can be seen from Table V and VI 
1 below: 


TABLE V 



English 

Bombay 

'Circulation 

* Free Press j 

’‘‘^‘National ! 

'Limes of 


1 Journal i 

1 

Standard ; 

India 

Bombay 

January — June 1952 

34.748 

12,321 , 

87,002 

July — December 1952 

• ’ not : 

12,884 ! 

88,2 S'8 


available : 


January — June 1953 

• j 52,691 

il,OtS8 

87,828 

July — December 1953 

• j 68,619 ; 

J 8,590 

86,078 

*Price reduced on 27-10-1952. 

** Price reduced 

on 1-7-1953. 



TABLE VI 




j Hindi 

-- Delhi 


' Circulaiiun 

i Janasatta 1 

Navbharat 

Hindusian 


; ! 

Times 1 



0 1 0 j 

0 2 0’^ ; 

0 2 0*’*' 

January — June 1952 

: not j 

1 1,693 ! 

21,464 

July — December 1952 

. ; available. 1 

14,269 ! 

18,71 1 

January — June 1953 

• : 9.87s 

175261 I 

20,492 

July — December 1953 . 

. i 1 1 ,127 

20,452 ! 

21,809 


’^Pricc reduced to 0-1-6 on 1-7-1952 
**Price reduced to o-t-6 on 1-12-1952. 


These increases have been obtained not so much by taking away circulation 
from rival papers, but seemingly by tapping new sections of the population 
which previously had not gone in for a paper. The other papers have also 
increased their circulation after reduction in price. Total circulation has gone 
up within 18 months by 30 per cent, in the case of English papers at Bombay, 
and 60 per cent, in the case of Hindi papers at Delhi. 

54. Statistics of literacy. — In order to estimate the scope for expansion of 
newspaper readership in this country independently of the data collected by 


sa 


the Sample Survey, figures were obtained from the Census Department regard- 
mg literacy, of various standards, in the population of this country; these 
figures are reproduced in Table VII below: 

TABLE VII 



; Males 

^ Females 

Literate • • . . . 

(lakhs) 

1 (lakhs) 

Middle School .... 

4^56 

i L36 

Matriculates ..... 

42 

i 10 

Intermediate in Arts or Science ! 

'4 i 

i 3 

2 

Degrees and Diplomas .... 

- ; 

1 


JO. In estimating the scope for readership from such meagre data, certain < 
assurnptions^ have, of necessity, to be made. The first of these would be 
reprding the make up of each household. Owing to the high percentage in 
this country of adult persons who are married, it may be justifiable to exclude 
from our assessment, the figures of female literacy and proceed purely on 
the basis of male literacy. It may also be assumed that as a general rule the 
standard of literacy of the male in the household would be equal to if not 
igher than, the standard of literacy of the female members. (The elTect 
or female literacy is examined further in a subsequent paragraph). 

56. The census authorities were unable to furnish figures of those who 
were literate before 1941 and who could, therefore, be counted as persons 
who may be expected to provide readership for newspapers. Nor do the 
figures of literacy in 1951 examined earlier provide any breakdown on the 
basis of age of the person. Allowance will have to be made for the fact that 
many of the persons, shown as educated up to the Middle School, Matriculate, 
Intermediate, etc. standards, may be junior members in a household of which 
the head is also literate up to a fairly high standard. As a consequence of 
this, the total number of literate households, i.e. households in which at least 
ene person is literate up to the specified standard, would be considerably less 
than the individual number of literates of the same standard, 

57. Levels of academic education.— It may, perhaps, be justifiable to 
assume that the bulk of the persons who take an, English newspaper (even 
though papers of a similar standard of coverage and production quality are 
available in most Indian languages) would be those whose education has 
continued beyond the matriculation standard, i.e. those who in the population 

tables are shown as having been educated up to the Intermediate, Degree and ^ 

Diploma stages. The total number of such males is roughly 14 lakh,s. The 
combined circulation of all English papers in this country is slightly below 
7 lakhs. This makes one paper for every two individuals considered likely to . 

go in for such a paper, thus limiting considerably the scope for future expan- 
sion. If further we allow for the factor already mentioned, of a number of 
persons in the same household possessing a similar standard of academic 
education, the scope for expanding the circulation of English newspapers is 
definitely restricted. 


o8. laking similarly the figures for those who had been educated up to 
the middle school standard or the matriculation standard who may be expected 
in consequence to possess the ability to read a newspaper with facility, the 



23 


number of individual males is 61 lakhs. The present circulation of Indian 
language newspapers is about 17 lakhs or less than 30 per cent, of the number. 
There is, therefore, considerable scope for expansion of the circulation of 
Indian language newspapers. 

A ft connection with such Indian language newspapers 

e significance of female literacy would be most pronounced. In a large 
number of households, it would appear to be the practice to take, in addition 
to the English newspaper, another paper in an Indian language, mainly for 
the use of female members of the household. If allowance is made for this 
factor, it would appear that the scope for expansion of the circulation of 
Indian language newspapers is considerable and if the degree of saturation 
aimed at is comparable to that already achieved by the English papers the 
future for Indian language newspapers is very bright indeed. 

60. Another factor which should be considered in this country is that 
literacy has seen rapid growth during the last few years. A considerable 
number of those shown as literates, would be persons who are still in school, 
and when they complete their schooling and take up their position as earning 
members of the population, there would be still wider scope for expansion 
of Indian language papers. 

61. Taking all the above factors into consideration, it may be said that the 
English newspapers do not have any considerable scope of adding largely 
to their circulation. But Indian language newspapers have great possibilities 
and in the next few years, we might expect that their circulation would 
increase to double the present figures. 

62 . Number of newspapers.— The figures of literate male persons of higher 
than matriculation standard in each State are compared in Table VIII below 
with the number of newspapers published in English from that State. (States 
with less than 25,000 males of this standard of literacy have been omitted), 

TABLE VIII 


Higher than matriculation: 



Males 

(thousands) 

♦No. of English 
newspapers 

Assam ....... 

25 

I 

Bihar 

1.04 

2 

Bombay. ...... 

1^57 

5 -f- 3 (evening) 

Madhya Pradesh .... 

46 

2 

Madras (undivided) .... 

1,70 

4 

Orissa ....... 

26 

1 

Punjab ...... 

1^35 

I 

Uttar Pradesh 

2^47 

6 

West Bengal ...... 

2,20 

4 

Hyderabad 

44 

4 

Mysore ....... 

40 

2 

Rajasthan ..... 

31 

Nil. 

Travancore-Cochin .... 

44 

Nil. 

Delhi 

1 

54 

54-1 (evening) 


(♦Includes local editions of multiple units.) 



24 


63. Similarly, the figures of males who have been educated up to or beyond 
the middle school standard but not beyond the matriculation standard have 
been classified according to the States in which they reside, in Table No IX. 

TABLE No. IX 


Middle ScliooJ and Matriculation 


Assam , 

Bihar 

Bombay 

Madhya Pradesh 
Madras (undivided; 
Orissa . 

Punjab . 

Uttar Pradesh 
West Bengal . 
Hyderabad 
Madhya Bharat 
Mysore . 

Pepsii . 

Rajasthan 
Saurashtra 
' T' ra\^anco re - Cod i i n 
Delhi . 


Males 

(thousands) 


*No. of Indian , 

language newspapers 


2,05 

541 

7,01 
2,30 
8,27 
1,96 
346 
6,53 
13,68 
1,41 : 

70 

1,80 ; 

^9 

84 

^7 

1,3s I 

143 


7 

61 

9 

21 

3 

20 

43 

21 

13 

9 

23 

2. 

6 

3 

«9 

13 


(•‘Tncludes local editions of multiple units.) 

64. Unfortunately we have been unable to break down the figures for 
literacy according to the mother tongue of the persons, either Cor the whole 
country or for at least some major States. It was therefore, not possible to 
estimate the scope for newspaper expansion in particular languages. From 
the original data colle<'ted during the census it should perhaps be possible 
to tabulate the statistics of persons of varying degree of literacy according 
to their mothei -tongue, distinguishing also between persons over 21 years of 
age and those under that age. We understand tliat no such study^is contem- 
plated at present but would recommend it for consideration. 

6,5. Population and circulation.— The figures of total population of the 
country, classified according to mother-tongue are given in Table No. X in 

comparison with the figures of circulation of newspapers in those languages: 

TABLE X 


Assamese 



Bengali 



Gujarati 



Hindi .... 



Kannada (including Ct'orgi ; 
Malayalam 



Marathi 

Oriya ... 

Puniabi 



Tamil .... 
Telugu .... 



Urdu .... 
Hindustani 


• 


lion 

s) 

Daily 

newspaper 

circulation 

(lakhs) 

' Circulation 
per 1000 
population 

50 

•03 

•6 

2 ,S \ 

2-40 

10 - I 

1,63 

1-87 

10*9 

13,02 

3*79 

2-7 

1,45 

•72 

1 5*0 

1,34 

1*96 

14*7 

2,70 

l’ 9 i 

6-9 

1,32 

1 *43 

3*3 

8 

•23 

2 S -0 

2,66 

1-68 ’ 

6'4 

3,30 : 

•y 8 : 

3*0 

1,36 1 

2*13 

15*1 

82 i 




National average: circulation per 1000 of popuJatinn 5*4. 

Literacy (per 1000 population) 166*4. 



25 


linguistic data.-The census figures are vitiated bv the fact 
that in Punjab. Pepsu, Delhi and Himachal Pradesh, the ligures lor Hindi 
mclude^for certain reasons, the figures for Pun.jabi, Urdu and Pahari langu- 
ages The result has been to give the impression that Punjabi is not the 
mother-tongue of any person residing in these States, but only of some 8 
akhs of people residing principally in U.P. and Rajasthan! The figures for 
Urdu have also been affected by the returns, mainly from Uttar Pradesh and 
Madaya Pradesh, of nearly 75 lakhs of persons as speaking ’‘Hindustani”. 
The use of this term in Madras (7 lakhs “Hindustani”) may perhaps be 
attributed to the efforts of the centre which has been working to propagate 
the national language as envisaged by Mahatma Gandhi. But in Mysore 
the term is apparently used by non-Muslims to denote Urdu, and some 
speakers of that language have perhaps preferred the term Hindustani to the 
term Urdu, with its associations. In the Uttar Pradesh the term has perhaps 
been used not merely by the group of people who believe in the language as 
defined by Gandhiji but also by a great number of people who could not 
claim Hindi as their mother-tongue and preferred for some reason not to 
adm.it to Urdu. The Census report estimates that 4 per cent, of the Hindus 
and over 50 per cent, of the Muslims returned their mother-tongue as 
Hindustani. 


(J7. The result of these inaccuracies has been — 

(a) by reducing the total figures of population speaking Urdu, to make 

it appear as if journalism and therefore literacy are much more 
advanced in this language than in Bengali, Marathi, Tamil or 
even Malayalam; 

(b) by the same proi'css to give an impression of achievement, almost 

impossible in the present stage, in the case of Punjabi; and 

(c) to depict the development of Hindi journalism in a much worse 

light than it deserves, placing it slightly lower than the level 
achieved in Oriya. 

68. The question has been raised whether the total number of i)ewspai>ers 
in this country is adequate for the expression of the var.ying points of view. 
There is no set formula by which the extent of diversity in a country can be 
assessed in order to determine the number of different points of view that 
may be expected to exist in a population of a given size. We can only com- 
pare the position in this country with the position in certain other countries. 
In the United States of America, it is reported that there were 1,780 dailies 
in existence in 1949. The population of that country was about i50 millions 
in that year and there were in con.sequence roughly 12 newspapers for every 
million of population. The United Kingdom, on the other hand, with its 
population distributed over a much more compact area, had, in the same year, 
146 daily newspapers or roughly three per million of population. Japan, with 
a population of over 80 millions, had about 130 newspapers in 1949 or an 
average of U newspapers per million of population. In comparison, India has 
today less than one newspaper per million of population. The question of 
language would not arise in arriving at the total number of papers required 
for the country provided no language is spuken by such a small raimber as 
to call for an increase in the total number. In other words, if we aim at a 
total of 720 newspapers in the country, on the basis of two papers for every 
million of population, it would not be nec'essary to increase this number in 
order to provide for separate linguis.tic groups, since no major language is 
spoken by less than half a million people. If we allow for the obvious defects 
in the census data such as the counting of the Punjabi population, the major 



26 


languages of the country were all spoken by numbers specifically in excess- 
of the average per newspaper as thus worked out. But the distribution of 
the number of newspapers in the different languages does reveal the fact 
that in many languages the number of individual papers is very low. The 
position is set out in table XI below: 

TABLE NO. XI I 



Population 

(lakhs) 

i No. of 
j newspapers 

Total 

circulation 

(lakhs) 

Assamese ...... 

50 

1 

0*03 

Bengali 

2,51 

7 

2*40 

Gu>arati ...... 

1,63 

23 

1*87 

Hindi ....... 

13,02 (?) 

76 

3*79 

Kannada ...... 

! U 45 

25 

I 0*72 

Malayalam ...... 

I334 

21 

1*96 

Marathi ...... 

2,71 i 

j 26 

1-91 

Oriya ....... 

1 

! 3 

0*43 

Punjabi ...... 

8 (?) 

9 1 

0-23 

Tamil ....... 

2,66 

12 1 

1-68 

Telugu ....... 

3>30 

6 j 

0*98 

Urdu . 

1.36 (?) 

70 I 

1 

2- 13 

Hindustani ...... 

82 (?) 


69. Number of Newspapers iuadeguate.— It would be apparent from the 

above that judged even by the standards of fairly compact countries like the 
United Kingdom and Japan, where distribution of a paper from its publication. ^ 

centre to its readers is both prompt and efficient, the number of newspapers 

in this country is low and an increase in that number would certainly be 
desirable. If we take into account such factors as distance and poor commu- 
nications, we need a large increase in the number of newspapers. 

70 . In this connection we would like to draw attention to the fact that in 
the Indian Press there are large disparities in the circulation between the 
largest papers and the smallest and that the disparities exist in the case of 
most languages. Differences do exist in the size of newspapers in every 
country and the numbers already mentioned for the United States of America, 

United Kingdom and Japan include those ranging from the largest to the 
smallest. The effect of very large circulations in proportion to the total 
are being examined in the chapter on monopolies and concentration. 

71. We made an attempt to compare the number of newspapers in existence ^ 

today with the number that existed at some time before, but unfortunately 

it was not possible to make a valid comparison. The extent of uncertainty 

even in current figures has already been indicated and it may be imagined 

how much more indefinite the figures were for the two years 1939 and 1947, ^ 

that we fixed for comparison. The State Governments were unable to indicate 

in which year newspapers formerly in existence had actually closed down nor 

was it possible to ascertain definitely when particular newspapers had come 

into existence where they are not current now. The proposed comparison 

had, therefore, to be abandoned. 

72. Reasons for closure of some papers. — We have, however, been able to 
collect information regarding the reasons which led to the closing down of 
certain papers, and from the repetitive nature of the pattern, we are inclined 


27 


to bolioVO thst tllG followinc^ wk«* 

newspapers: — reasons for the failure of the 

(i) inadequate appreciation of the dynamics of the newspaper industry; 
(n) lack of adequate finances; and 
(iii) inefficient management. 

IX XJ SXJTX XX;:: 

industry in India tod^Tare: confronting the newspaper 

^^o7pSS5‘’'‘^* expenditure required for starting a newspaper., 

(ii) the generally inadequate supply of finances; 

(iii) competition from existing papers with substantial financial backing; 

(iv) low purchasing power of the people, 

74 Capital investment required.-Estimates of capital investment reouired 

xz xss rsr. tsris' 

for the initial equipment but also for meeting the deficit between expeSuil 
r^qui^Hor t^r years before the paper is stabilised, and the sum 

o£equipmen7m^=:er %h1 sXcf 

sXfeXtr^^^^ tr r x££ 

ha7"^*h welcome We 

i^rh; 7""® across so many instances of unfair competition backed 

up by substantial resources that we have been impelled to make certain special 
recommendations for the elimination of such unfair practices. ^ 

75. Enlarging scope of circulation. — The handimn nf i 

litwat7 f”* f ‘*ce now ^becoming 

L Xershin ltthX 7 '^^y of an immediate drive 

101 readeiship is the fact to which a reference has already been made that 

many people find it difficult to spare the money to purcha.se a pX inw 

linked with this IS the low spending power of the population which restricts 

the growth of advertisement revenue particularly of papers circulating mainlv 

m rural and semi-rural areas. No studies are availabte of the a ocaXS 

the average urban or rural budget between various heads of exZndLri 

and of the amounts spent on newspapers which would enable us to assess the 

possibffity of increased revenue to the Press. The National Sample Survey 

in their Fourth Round have collected some information regarding expenditure 

on newspapers, per household and per capita. The survey was Conducted 

b7tX X"" ‘he data coSSed 

by them, the expenditure per household on items of consumption in rural 

and urban areas included a monthly expenditure of a little over five annas. 



28 


in the urban areas and less than six pies in the rural areas on newspapers. 
The figures are reproduced below in Table XII: — 


TABLE XII 

Sector 

No. of 
sample 
households 

Per house- 
hold expen- 
diture on 
newspapers 
(in rupees) 

Per capita 
expenditure 
on news 
papers 
(in rupees) 

Rural .... 

8545 

0-0273 

O’ 0054 

Urban .... 

3887 

I 0-3242 

0 • 0705 

All India .... 

12432 i 

0-0796 j 

1 

0-0162 


The ligures of expenditure in rural areas have been calculated separately for 
ditlorent parts of ihe country and are reproduced below in Table Xlll. 


d'ABii: XIII 

Riinil — Monthly expenditure on tiezvspapcru • 


No. of 
samples 
households 


Expenditure per 
household 
in rupees 


North India . . . . . . 1^407 

East India . . . . . 2,190 

Souiii India . . . . . , 1,470 

West India 1,201 

Centrallndia ..... 1,292 

Northwest India . . . . i 9S5 


0-0143 

0-0385 

0-0469 

0-0298 

0-0042 

0'0i35 


All India . . . . . . i 8,545 ! 0-0273 


It will be seen from the above that there are wide differenices betw^een one 
part of the country and another and the South Indian household spends more 
than three times as much as the household in North India or ten times as 
much as the household in Central India. 

76 . Similarly, analysis of the figures in respect of urban areas classified 
.according to the size of the town, also yields interesting results. 


Tabli: XIV 


Urban — JMonthly expenditure on newspapers. 


Range of 
population. 

No. of 
sample 
households 

' 

Expenditure 

per 

household 
in rupees. 

1 upto 15,000 .... 

• i 74 « 

0- 1009 

SF 15,001 — 50,000 

■ : 1,003 1 

0-2702 

50,001 — 1,00,000 

• i 1441 

0* 3198 

above 1,00,000. 

. ! ey-: i 

0-9091 

All towns and cities 

• 1 3>887 j 

0-3242 



The households in the large cities spend on newspapers nearly nine times 
the sum that the households in the small towns do. The average for all 
towns IS also roughly 12 times the average for the rural areas. 

77. Unless there is a .substantial change in the trend di.sclosed by the 
sui vty, a.s foi instance a diversion of part of the amount .spent on ceremo- 
nials to heads like amusements, education or newspapers and periodicals, no 
.sigmheant expansion of the Press can be expected. 

78. Redistribution of publication Centres. — Apart from overall increases 
in the number of daily papers and their circulation, we should like to see 
also a change in the present distribution ot publishing centre.s in the 
country. 

79. Today, quite a large number of papers are being published from the 
major metropolitan centres, while there are still many towns, for instance in 
the Uttar Pradesh and Madras, which have a population of ovei’ one lakh, 
but which still do not have a local daily paper. We feel that future effort 
should be devoted to filling up this gap in development. The difficulties 
attendant upon the starting of new papers may be greater in the case of such 
towns than perhaps in the metropolitan centres. The proportion of literate 
persons is generally lower, and if, moreover, the town is not industrialised, 
purchasing power would not be sufficiently diffuse d to provide adequate 
readership. But in spite of these? handicaps, we aro hopeful that a future 
exists for papers published from such district towns, presenting local events 
and voicing local opinions. The temptation to model the paper on the example 
of metropolitan papers should, in our opinion, be avoided. A typical district 
paper of the type we contemplate may never rnalu' an appeal to the widely- 
read, and might lose out in a straight fight witli the metropolitan paper 
owing to the inevitable handicaps of compara; ively smaller-seale produc- 
tion, but if it lays adequate emphasis on local news and views, it should be 
able to build up a clientele of its own. 

80. Difficulties of new papers.— Building up of circulation is the most 
difficult task that a newspaper faces. It takes time, and in the case of a 
daily paper, it costs a lot of money. We have been told of many instances 
where a newcomer to the field prefers to buy up an existing paper even if it 
has been losing steadily, to starting a new paper, since in the fornK?r case he 
gets the advantage of a circulation already built up. One way that can be 
suggested to minimise the losses in the early stages particularly where no 
daily paper exists already would be to start the paper initially as a weekly, 
and when circulation has been built up to some extent, to convert it into a 
daily. 

81. We would also suggest that where adequate printing facilities exist 
such papers should not instal their own printing equipment even if the}^ can 
find the necessary capital for it. The overhead charges of running a press 
cannot, in our opinion, be met by the production of a weekly paper or even 
of a small daily. In order to keep the burden of printing charges to a 
minimum, it will be necessary for the paper to seek job printing work. 
Until this has been built up, the losses on the press would be heavy, and 
even thereafter, the work of job printing would inevitably draw away a por- 
tion of the energy and time that should be devoted to the building up of the 
paper itself. It might, therefore, be preferable to entrust the printing to a 
press that has already establi.shed itself locally. To answer the question 
whether a paper can be economically produced under such conditions, we 
would cite the instances of a Bengali paper which is produced at a press, 
managed independently, though with some link in the ownership. The press, 
which operates with a maximum limit set upon its profits, is able to print 



80 


Ihe paper at a rate which the publishers find quite reasonable and which is 
fairly well below the average cost of production for many papers in this 
country, both lar^^e and small, which own their own presses. 

82 In the matter of advertisment revenue, a district paper suffers under 
a further handicap. Local sale of most nationally advertised products is 
pnerally small. This is partly due to the defective arrangements for dis- 
^iju ion and sale of most of the articles produced on a large scale in India, 
further, purchasing power in small towns is directed mainly to 
commodities and services which are not usually advertised. We cannot expect 
an improvement in the former until our manufaeturer.s realise fully the 
potentialities of the market in the country and develop both their distribu- 
^lon and theii advertising. The latter, we feel, can be overcome by educating 
the people about the advantages of advertising. We note that one paper in 
Poona has successfully developed local classified advertisements and we feel 
that most district papers can also follow this example. Other means by which 
. istrict papers can be assisted by a sound policy in the selection of media 
are discussed in the chapter on advertisements. 

83. In our estimate of readership on the basis of literacy, we have assumed 
that the bulk of the readership is at present confined, in the ease of Indian 
language papers to those who have completed at least a middle-school edu- 
cation and thereby acquired a fairly large vocabulary. We feel, however, 
that it is possible to look for readership even among those who have put in 
only four or five years in school. This section of the population is very 
large, but the extent of newspaper readership among them cannot be very 
great in view of the style of writing that most Indian newspapers use at 
present. Several publishers have told us how they were able to build up 
their circulation by paying careful attention to this aspect; they had im- 
pressed upon the editor and his staff' in each case that the language used 
must be of the simplest and the aim should be to make the topics intelligible 
to the reader rather than to achieve elegance of style or display of the 
writer’s erudition. This policy has brought success to the publishers who 
have followed it. We feel that an extension of the policy in order to achieve 
even further simplification would be very necessary, and that district papers 
can exploit this with benefit. 


84. It was mentioned to us that district papers would gain an advantage 
if they were published in the evening instead of in the morning. There are 
several factors which would guide the choice of publication time and it 
would not do to be obsessed by the need of coming out in competition with 
metropolitan papers. The fall of the news should be studied in order to 
judge how far the district paper would gain by being published locally at a 
particular time, and the reading habits of the local population must also be 
taken into account. In view of the fact that most metropolitan papers are 
morning papers and that a majority of trains, radiating outwards from the 
metropolis, depart in the evening hours, it would appear that evening papers 
an the district may have some advantage. This advantage would, however 
be coi^mgent upon efficient and rapid handling of news by the news agen- 
cies. The question of planning and distribution of news services to meet the 
special needs of small district papers is discussed elsewhere. 


85. Indian newspapers abroad— One of the legitimate functions of the 
.Press in this country would be to present, to citizens of other countries, news 
of India as well as views on Indian and world affairs. Considering the type 
of niatenal that it purveys, it would obviously be useless for a newspaper to 
-reach its reader long after the happenings that it reports. On the other hand, 
air postage or freight is so expensive, especially over long distance routes 







91 




t 

* 


that It would not be possible to conceive of regular distribution of a large 
numbers of copies of daily issues sent by air. In the case of newspapers pub- 
Kingdom and the United States multiple units have 
inil Continent for the printing of local editions to circu- 

a English speaking inhabitants including the nationals of these 
a-m' ^ development has not taken place in many other ca.ses, 

Ts distance and limitations of language. A compromise 

usually achieved by the production of a weekly edition which, in addition 
to surveying the important happenings of the week, also sets out selections 
from the leading articles and special features published during the week 
buch weekly editions suited for overseas distribution are at present being 
published by only three papers, the Statesman, the Hindustan Times and 
lecently the Hindu. The first is not available for distribution in this coun- 
tiy, but nearly 1,500 copies of the overseas edition of the Hindustan Times 
are circulated in this country, while the corresponding figure for the Hindu 
IS over 5 000 copies. In order to save air postage or freight, copies intended 
tor distribution abroad are printed on special light weight paper. The weekly 
editicms of the Statesman and the Hindu are brought out in the usual tabloid 
«ze five columns wide, and consist of 16 and 12 pages respectively. The 
Hindustan Times is slightly smaller and consists of 12 pages. These three 
papers differ greatly in their selection of material. The Statesman lays em- 
phasis on commerce and industry and also provides special coverage for 
happenings in Pakistan. The Hindustan Times covers more of political news, 
while the Hindu devotes considei-able space to social and cultural aspects. The 
circulation abroad of these papers ranges from 500 to 700 copies a week and 
is perhaps growing. The cost of production is, however, bound to be high 
particularly in those cases where there is not sufficient circulation inside the 
country to share the cost. Special paper for the air-mail edition costs nearly 
thi-ee times as much as newsprint, area for area. In spite of its use, trans- 
port charges add considerably to the cost. Circulation abroad, both among 
Indian nationals and others, could no doubt be built up considerably if, for 
instance, copies could be printed at a central place in Western Europe such as 
London, from mats flown over. This would reduce the cost of transport 
and paper would also be perhaps cheaper. 


86. Statutory collection of sUtistics.— In view of the importance of reli- 
able statistics regarding the press in the country, we consider it essential that 
there should be some statutory authority responsible for their collection and 
periodical publication. We have suggested elsewhere that in view of the 
national importance of the newspaper industry and the fact that it recog- 
nises no State boundaries, the regulation of this industry should be brought 
within the purview of the Central Government in terms of the Industrias 
Development and Regulation Act of 1951. The authority responsible for the 
collection of statistics would, therefore, be a central authority. Under the 
Collection of Statistics Act of 1953, it is open to the appropriate Governmeut 
to appoint an officer for the purpose of collecting the statistics. We recom- 
mend that while the Government of India should appoint one officer for the 
whole country who will coordinate, correlate and publish all statistics witk 
regard to the newspaper industry, there should be Press Registrars for each 
State who will be responsible for the primary collection and compilation of 
the statistics. It should be incumbent on each newspaper and periodical to 
file certain statements with the Press Registrar and obtain a certificate. No 
paper which has not thus been registered shall be entitled to any postal, tele- 
paph, railway or other concessions as a newspaper. The statements’ filed 
in the first instance should include (vide Appendix XXIII) details of the 
capital structure of the paper and names of the responsible staff. The Cen- 



32 


tral Registrar should be given the same powers as the Registrar of Joint 
Stock Companies under the new Act now on the anvil. He should bring out 
an annual report on the working of the Press on its organisational side, in- 
cluding working conditions in the industry and giving such other details as 
may be prescribed. All newspapers should be called upon to file periodic re- 
turns regarding employees, consumption of raw material, changes in owner- 
ship and control, and changes in management so that the public can get 
from one source authentic statistics about the industry. It should also be 
made incumbent on the newspapers to file periodic statements regarding the 
circulation ot the papei', and it should be open to the Registrar to carry out 
checks as he might consider necessary for the purpose of verifying these 
statements. 

It should also be made the re^sponsibility of the publishers to send one 
copy of each edition to the National Library of India. Where a publisher is 
for any reason unable to bring out the paper regularly, he should inform the 
Registrar as well as the Magistrate before whom he has filed a declaration. 

88. Periodical publications. — In the introductory chapter, we have re- 
ferred to the dimculties that we have encountered in collecting accurate sta- 
tistics of the number of periodicals in this country. According to the original 
figures that were furnished to us, the total number of periodicals that existed 
in this country at the commencement of our inquiry was as follows: — 

(i) Weeklies .. 2,467 

(ii) Monthlies .. 2,381 

(iii) Other periodicals .. 1,845 


6,693 

89. In the course of our inquiry, we have been taking a number of steps 
to get these figures verified and a li.st has been compiled of the periodicals 
reported to be in existence today. In spite of the fact that we have devoted 
over 12 months to this endeavour, we have still been unable to verify these 
figures or to arrive at an accurate estimate. The position has been set out ia 
the following table: — 


T.\ble XV 


1 

2 

3 

4 

5 

6 

Serial 

No. 

I 

1 

j Periodicity 

Total No, 

. 

periodicals 
as reported 

No. of 
periodicals 
of which 
particulars 
have been 
received 

No. of 
periodicals 
which 
have not 
furnished 
particulars 

No. of period- 
icals to which 
letters 
addressed 
asking for 
particulars 
have been 
returned 
undelivered 

j 

; Dailies (Market reports): 

43 


43 


2 

Irregular dailies . , 

2 [ 

14 

1 4 i 

3 

3 

! Tri-weeklies . . ' 

7 i 


i ' * i 

4 

Bi-weeklies 

44 

33 I 

3 ! 

K 

s 

Weeklies 

L1S9 

S24 i 

270 : 

95 

6 1 

Fortnightiies . . j 

379 

309 

12 j 

58 

n 

Monthlies . . i 

i>685 1 

D37<^ ! 

242 

73 

% 

Other periodicals . i 

1,071 

646 , 

1 397 ■ 

1 

28 


j 

4-»-39 

3’~03 

971 

,265 



In the third column of the table, we have indicated the total estimated 
number of publications. In this we have excluded all those that to our 
definite knowledge did not come into existence, and all those periodicals 
which have been reported to us, either by the State Governmemts concerned 
or by the proprietors, as having been discontinued. The fourth column gives 
the figures of those periodicals in respect of which we have been able to 
obtain at least brief particulars regarding place of publication, language, etc. 
This leaves a large number of publications (figures given in the fifth column) 
about which we have still been unable to get any definite information. We 
found that registered letters, calling for particulars, have been returned to 
us undelivered in a large number of cases, the actual figures of which have 
been given in the sixth column. In a certain number of these cases, it is 
possible that the publications have changed their addresses, but the State 
Governments have been unable to trace correct addresses for us. The pre- 
sumption is therefore strong that a large proportion of them might have 
ceased publication. A number of periodicals in this category had, however, 
been added only recently because the State Governments had notf included 
their names in the earlier lists they had sent to us, and in some of these cases, 
further particulars may be forthcoming from the publishers. We have, how- 
ever, been compelled to fix some punctuation point in the course of our in- 
quiry in order to review the position and we have, therefore, examined 
below only those periodicals about whom we have been able to collect some 
particulars before May 15, 1954. 


90. Dailies other than newspapers.— In the first category of the periodicals 
in the table above, we have included those publications which come out 
every day but which are not of the character of daily newspapers. Some of 
them are market reports covering business activities at particular centres in 
this country. A tabular statement showing the linguistic distribution, and 
the centres of publication, is included in Appendix VI. There are 11 such 
reports in English, published from Delhi, Bombay, Madras and Calcutta. 
There are also market reports published in Tamil, Hindi and Urdu. A large 
proportion of the others are, however, reports of cotton fluctuations abroad 
and judging by the names under which they are sold, they are intended 
mainly for the benefit of speculators on the markets and gamblers. In this 
category there are 13 publications in Gujarati and 12 in Marathi; this indi- 
cates their geographical distribution. Many of these are distributed as news- 
papers but they consist only of one sheet of small size and carry only one 
item of news, usually of no significance, obviously included to bring the 
publication within the Postal regulations. (We are examining later the 
propriety of counting such publications as newspapers.). 

91. Irregular ‘‘dailies”.— The next category covers “daily” newspapers 
which do not appear on six days in the week, but bring out issues from time 
to time, and whose periodicity cannot be determined. A tabular statement 
showing the distribution of such newspapers among different languages and 
centres of publication is given in the Appendix VII. Out of the 21 that are 
included in this category, 15 are reported as published in Urdu, 3 in Hindi, 2 
in Punjabi and one in Rajasthani. As may be presumed from the irregularity 
of their appearance, they do not have large circulations and are apparently 
being published just often enough to keep their declaration alive. We have 
elsewhere recommended that the requirements for their being counted as 
dailies or as periodicals should be made more stringent than at present and 
expect that such a tightening up of regulations would improve their regula- 
rity or reduce the number of such irregular publications. 

18 Mofl&B. 


34 


92. Bi-Weeklies and tri-weeklies. — Next come the periodical newspapers 
which are published twice or thrice a week. The distribution according to 
language and centre of publication is given in the Appendix VIII. Some of the 
papers in this category are, like the “Kesari”, periodicals of long standing, 
which command a large circulation. Others are special editions, as for 
instance, of Bengali daily papers and are brought out mainly to meet the 
needs of persons speaking that language who are domiciled at great distances 
from the publication centre and welcome regular news of their home State. 
Quite a number are market reports, or racing sheets which come out twice 
a week during the season. 


93 Weeklies.— Weekly publications form a substantial proportion of all 
periodicals. Their distribution is fairly widespread and is set out in a table 
in the Appendix IX which classifies a total of 1,189 weeklies reported to be 
in existence, according to language and the centres of publication. Hindi 
accounts for nearly 23 per cent, of the total, and Urdu comes next with 14 
per cent, and Bengali accounts for 10 per cent. The proportion of English 
weeklies is about 12 per cent. There are weekly publications in minor Indian 
anguages, including Sindhi, Konkani, Lushai, Maithili, Nepalese, Santhall. 
e c., and there IS not a single major Indian language which claims less than 
10 weeklies. Less than one-fourth of the weekly publications are metropo- 
litan, and over 40 per cent, are published from towns of less than one lakh 
population which are not the capitals of even small States. We have how- 
ever been able to obtain particulars of only 824 weeklies out of the total and 
the review below is only in respect of these weeklies. 

• *"^tter of content, the weeklies cover a wide variety of sub- 

jects. A tabulated statement in the Appendix X classifies them according to 
languages and the nature of the contents. Roughly half the total numbCT dell 
with news and current affairs. The next biggest category comprises those 
weeklies which cover a variety of subjects, including current ^ affairs but 
where these do not form the main topic of interest. Many of them have sec- 
tions intended for the benefit of women, and children, and a large propor- 
tion of them print also some fiction, cartoons, etc. Such periodicfls LcLnt 

Sirr total. The development of weeklies of tWs 

chaiacter has been most pronounced in Tamil, Telugu, and Malavalam in 
Which languages such weeklies have large circuiations® TheJe^rl tw^ week- 
lies in Tamil, each of which has a circulation of over 60,000 copies We have 
referred in connection with daily newspapers to the average expenditure pir 
household per annum on newspapers and periodicals. It is interesting to 
examine in this connection the findings of the National Sample Survey^ re- 
garding expenditure in rural areas on the purchase of periodicals The 
figures are reproduced below. pvnoaicais. me 


<1 


Table VII 


Population zone 

No. of 
sample 
households 

Monthly 
expenditure on 
periodicals 

North India . 


Rs. 

East India . . 

1,407 

0*0096 

South India • . . . . 

2,190 

0*0062 

West India .... 

! 1,470 

0*0185 

Central India . . . . ’ 

1,201 

0*0014 

North West India .... 1 

1,292 

00003 


985 

0*0150 

All India 

8,545 j 

0*0088 

— 


noticed that the expenditure in South India is more than twice the 
rlZ^ctnf country. A similar breakdown is not available in 

tion from the very large circula- 

woul^nni h appear that the larger provision in the family budget 

nerinrfioail itself account for the disparity, and that the South Indian 
p odicals are also being sold at prices comparatively much lower than for 

Stv oTth H f The enterprise of the publishers and the 

aoihty of the editors concerned have together combined to achieve this 
success* 

95 It is perhaps typical of our country that weeklies concerned with reU- 

faVZV languages largely represent- 

ed in addition to English, are Hindi and Urdu. Religious weeklies exist how- 

languages. Equally significant is the number of weeklies 
welfare and uplift. It is true that quite a 
rather narrow interests, and concern themselves with 
small sub-sects or communities, to whom the contents are addressed There 
are however many weeklies which work for the welfare and social uplift of 
large sections of the population, and some of these are brought out by State 
Governments and other bodies. Except in one instance of a State Govern- 
ment periodical devoted to the welfare of the Adibasis, where witnesses 
belonging to that section expressed disatisfaction with the Government pub- 
lication, we have come across no criticism of Government efforts in this 
neld. 


^ 96. The next largest group of weeklies deals with films. Here, Gujarati 

claims over 25 per cent .of the total even though production of films in that 
^ language IS by no means significant. Bengali, Tamil, Telugu and Hindi/Urdu 
claim the bulk of the remainder while six film weeklies are published in 


97. Quite a number of language periodicals in the same languages devote 
themselves to literary matters. Other subjects, such as industry, technology, 
medicine and science, are not very well represented in the field of weeklies 
and the total number in any one of these categories barely reaches double 
figures. On the other hand, many weeklies are devoted to the publication of 
solutions for crosswords or other such popular forms of prize competitions. 
Publicity journals including those brought out by Government, and house 

organs published by firms engaged in business account also for a substantial 
number. 

, 98. Fortnightlies. — The fortnightlies do not form a very large proportion 

of the total, but they present a geographical distribution similar to that of 
weeklies, a large number being published from fairly small towns. A state- 
ment is included in the Appendix XI classifying them by languages and 
* place of publication. The majority of such publications (over 25 per cent.) is 
in English and they apparently serve to fill the need for an English periodi- 
cal in areas where a weekly would not receive adequate support. In the 
Indian languages, Bengali, Gujarati, Marathi, Tamil and Telugu as well as 
Hindi and Urdu account for almost the whole of such periodicals and the 
development in other languages has been very small. 

99. Monthlies. — The, monthlies represent the largest category of periodi- 
cals. Here too, the distribution is spread over the metropolitan towns (40 
per cent.), other Capitals (10 per cent.), large towns (25 per cent.), and 
small towns (25 per cent.) (Vide Appendix XII which covers 1684 
monthlies which have been reported to us as in existence.) We have, however. 



been able to get particulars only in respect of 1370, and the review below 
refers only to these. An analysis on the basis of contents and according to 
languages is given in Appendix XIII, 

100. In respect of contents, the monthlies show a different pattern from 
the weeklies. The number of periodicals dealing with news and current 
affairs is naturally very small since topical interest would be lost in publica- 
tions which appear only once a month. Magazines of a general character 
account for less than one-fifth of the total and are confined mainly to English, 
Tamil and Hindi; there are a few in Telugu, Marathi, Bengali and Urdu and 
negligible numbers in the other languages. Over 20 per cent, of all month- 
lies are devoted to religion and allied subjects, and if we consider also the 
monthlies that deal with social uplift and welfare of small religious com- 
munities, the emphasis on the religious aspect becomes more prominent. 
About one-eighth of the total number of magazines are devoted to literary 
matters and form the next largest group. Publicity journals brought out 
by Government, public organisations and business houses account for a subs- 
tantial number, but, as may be expected, film journals outnumber these. 
We are glad to note that over 5 per cent, of the journals, mainly in English 
and Marathi, deal with educational subjects while the monthlies brought out 
by schools, colleges and other institutions for public service, number nearly 
100. Special journals for women, monthlies devoted to finance and commerce, 
trade unions, law and public health administration, agriculture and animal 
husbandry, and transport number round about 20 each. There are 13 
periodicals devoted to astrology and 9 to sex matters. 

101. Quarterlies, — Though records of the State Governments indicated 
that over 283 quarterlies were in existence, we have not been able to get in- 
formation about all of these. We have been specially interested in this class 
of journalism because quarterlies generally form the vehicle for the publica- 
tion of serious research and study. A list is attached in Appendix XIV show- 
ing the languages and place of publication of the 283 quarterlies reported to 
us. We are, however, reviewing below only the 176 of which we could get 
particulars (Vide Appendix XV). Nearly 60 per cent, of these are in Eng- 
lish, and Hindi is the only other language in which more than 20 quarterlies 
are in current publication. Bengali comes next with 12. In the matter of 
subjects, literary topics account for a total of 29 quarterlies, and education 
for 27 more. About 20 quarterlies are brought out by schools and colleges. 
Religion accounts for 21 out of the total. The others are distributed among 
different categories of subjects. There are not sufficient numbers, for ins- 
tance, devoted to engineering where there are only two quarterlies in Eng- 
lish and one in Tamil, or to industry and technology where English, Tamil 
and Kannada are the only languages represented. Science is represented by 
only one quarterly in Bengali and there has been no development in the other 
Indian languages. We have come across only one quarterly devoted to phi- 
losophy and ethics in the Indian languages — in Marathi in this case. There 
are no medical quarterlies in Indian languages. These gaps, we hope, will 
be filled up soon by the development of periodical journalism. 

102. Other Periodicals. — State Governments have reported to us a total of 
788 periodicals as appearing less frequently than once a quarter. (Appendix 
XVI) We could, however, obtain particulars only in respect of 567, and 
nearly 400 of these are annual publications brought out by schools, colleges 
and other institutions. Religion accounts for 29 more. The rest are distri- 
buted over a wide range of subjects; a great majority of these (nearly 90) 
are published in English and there has not been much development in the 
Indian languages apart from school annuals. (Vide Appendix XVII). 


103. Readers’ interest. — In the course of the Survey of Readership, we 
had arranged that* a few questions should be put to those readers of daily 
newspapers who also read a weekly. One of those questions was intended 
to ascertain the preferences of readers among articles, and features of 
different varieties. Table XVI below shows the preferences of regular readers 
of weeklies. Where the respondent expressed interest in more than one type 
of matter, all the answers were recorded and so the total number of all ans- 
wers exceeds the number of readers who recorded their views. 


Tablk XVI 

Rural Urban 


Item of interest 

No. of 
opinions 

Per cent 
of total 

No. of 
opinions 

Per cent 
of total 

Current Affairs 

56s 

21 

971 

18 

Cartoons .... 

311 

12 

729 

14 

Humour .... 

370 i 

i ! 

14 

1 801 

15 

Stories 

433 

1 

i 

j 902 

1 

Photos and Illustrations . . j 

! 433 

* 16 

i 902 

! 17 

Women’s and Children’s sections’ 

298 1 

II ! 

1 

593 1 

1 1 

Society and Fashion notes . j 

262 1 

i 

10 1 

455 

8 


The preferences of rural and urban readers have shown similar patterns. 
About 20 per cent, of the opinions recorded expressed interest in current 
affairs, and those that followed, in order of preferences, were (1) fiction, (2) 
photographs and illustrations, (3) humour, (4) cartoons^. and (5) women’s and 
children s sections. Society and fashion notes recorded the smallest number 
of interested readers. 

104. General features of Indian periodicals. — There are certain charac- 
teristics which stand out on an examination of the periodicals published in 
this country. A very large proportion of the publications, particularly of 
those appearing monthly or oftener are published on newsprint. This not 
merely adds to the demand for newsprint but results in deterioration of the 
appearance of the periodicals. Some of the publications are. no doubt, of a 
trivial character and are not worth preserving. Further, the use of newsprint, 
which is available at roughly half the price of white printing paper, enables 
them to keep their prices low. On the other hand, it is possible that a number 
of potential purchasers have been put off by the poor production quality. 
Moreover, the advertisement revenue which these periodicals can earn is 
probably very greatly reduced because of the use of newsprint and of the low 
standard of production. In the chapter on advertisements we refer to the 
proportion of revenue that goes to the daily press and to the periodical press; 
at present periodicals earn only a small proportion of the total. If, however, 
their standards of production can be raised, it is possible that advertisement 
revenues can be built up to such an extent that they would more than offset 
the increased cost. 


38 


105. Lack of enterprise among^ publishers. — There appears to be also con- 
siderable lack of enterprise on the part of publishers both in the matter of 
bringing out periodicals and marketing them effectively. We have referred 
to the very satisfactory growth of periodical journalism in the South and the 
success of certain weeklies there. We would mention also the instance of one 
firm of publishers there that brings out monthly magazkies for children in a 
number of Indian languages. By utilising certain economies of combined pro- 
duction, the firm has been able to build up a very large circulation for the 
periodicals which apparently satisfy the needs of young readers. The firm 
has been able to achieve for its publications in the languages of Western and 
Northern India much larger circulations than similar publications produced 
locally in those parts of the country. A substantial part of the credit for this 
success must be attributed to the efficiency in production and distribution. 
Similarly, one group of periodicals published in Marathi has been able to 
build up extensive circulations, though we were told that owing to a 
general recession in the market, renewals of subscriptions are not as numer- 
ous as lapses. We consider it essential that publishers should realise the 
large market that exists for periodicals in this country and the possibilities of 
large scale expansion of this profitable field of public service. 


106. Dearth of techmcal and scientific periodicals. — An important aspect 
in which the Indian periodical press is today found deficient is in the publica- 
tion of technical and specialist periodicals. When science, technology and 
medicine are advancing rapidly the interchange of the latest information on 
research and application is achieved not so much by books as through perio- 
dicalsf It is clear that an adequate volume of advertising would be available 

to support such publications since at present, for lack of specialist media, ma- ‘ ' 
nufacturers and merchants are compelled to advertise goods and services of a 
technical nature in the so-called “supplements*^ to the daily press where 
reaching the potential market is a matter of “hit or miss”*, with the “misses** 
vastly outnumbering the “hits**. 

107. Decline of serious journalism.— In contrast with the position that 
obtained some years ago, it is noteworthy that few periodicals today deal 
adequately with a wide variety of serious subjects. The causes for this decline 
have been variously attributed to the competition of cheap journalism in the 
form of magazine supplements of daily newspapers, the shallowness of interest 
generally in the present day readers, and the dearth of writers and the dis- 
inclination on their part to present to the public the results of their research 
and thought in a manner that would command attention. We found that 
opinion was divided on the question whether the weekly magazine issues 

of the daily newspapers were really competing with the more serious perio- ' 
dicals either by taking away their readership or by monopolising the out- 
put of serious authors. These magazine issues start with the advantage of a 
very large circulation. This enables them to offer much better remunera- t 
tion to writers than periodicals (which usually have a much smaller circula- 
tion) can offer. On the other hand, the type of article that is usually intended 
for publication in such magazine issues is designed to suit the conditions of 
readership wherein what is sought is only superficial acquaintance with the 
subject. Further, in the matter of literary criticism, the number of periodi- 
cals in any country is rather limited and reviews in Sunday papers of good 
quality have a considerable value as well as influence on the public. We feel, 
therefore, that the Sunday supplements and the periodicals operate in 
different fields. Nevertheless the cheaper product has, to some extent, affected 
the growth of serious weekly journalism. 



39 


108 Competition from Government publications.— It has been brought to 
our notice that certain periodical publications of the Government of India, 
which are far from self-supporting, offer a sort of subsidised competition to 
private enterprise. We would like the Government of India to consider this 
aspect of the matter and to decide on means of avoiding such a complaint. 

®*’^®®**®***J**« writings.— The shortcomings of the periodical press are 
not confined only to their lack of development in wholesome directions. We 
must mention with regret that a great deal of the objectionable writing, 
scurrilous, obscene, indecent and personal does exist in the Indian Press 
though it is confined to the periodical press, and the daily newspapers have 
been comparatively free from these evils. We have examined a number of 
instances of such objectionable writing that were brought to our notice but 
have had to refrain from reproducing extracts for this reason among others, 
that a number of them are quite unprintable. Many of these instances have 
come from a very small section of the periodical press. While it is necessary 
2semL to develop so as to meet the needs of the country, it is also 

f effective checks should exist against publications of this 

anrf i)! majority of these cases the publications are small, 

and would have remained obscure but for their objectionable character. The 
Press considered further in the chapter on the performance of the 



CHAPTER III 

CAPITAL INVESTMENT AND TURNOVER 

110. The Daily Press. — In our examination of the finances of the Daily 
Press, we were handicapped by the lack of any authentic source of statistics. 
The newspapers were, therefore, asked to furnish copies of their balance 
sheets and profit and loss accounts for certain years and, on the basis of 
the figures furnished, certain statistics have been compiled for iihe year 1951. 
As all the concerns do not employ the calendar year as their accounting 
year, the figures tabulated are in many cases for the accounting period which 
covers a major portion of 1951. Many of the concerns did not furnish profit 
and loss accounts and balance sheets. In some cases, the returns were 
incomplete in the sense that one of the two statements was absent, or did 
not give a proper breakdown of items. The necessary information was call- 
ed for from such concerns and the information has been tabulated as far as 
it could be obtained. 

111. In all, there are 270 concerns publishing about 330 dailies. Of these, 
roughly 110 concerns publishing about 170 dailies and covering over 80 per 
cent, of the total circulation have furnished the information called for. The 
remaining concerns are small and many have apparently had difficulty in 
furnishing the returns since they do not maintain regular accounts of capital 
investment or even of income and expenditure. 

112. Forms of ownership.— According to the forms of ownership, the 
concerns publishing newspapers may be divided into five main categories: 
Public Limited Companies, Private Limited Companies, Partnerships, Indi- 
viduals, Trusts, or Societies registered under different Acts, and by political 
parties or institutions. The distribution of capital according to these forms 
of ownership is given as under: — 

Table I 


Distribution of capital in 1951 according to forms of ownership in Dailies 


I 



2 

Number 
for which 

3 

Actuals for 1951 

iNature ot concerns 


information 
is available 

Proprietary 

capital 

Loan 

capital 

Total 

capital 



In lakhs 
of Rs. 

In lakhs 
of Rs. 

In lakhs 
of Rs. 

1 Public Ltd. Co. 

2 Private Ltd- Co. 

3 Partnerships 

4 Individuals 

<5 Trusts .... 
Others . . . . j 

32 

27 

12 

25 

II ! 

1^05 

4,43 

9 

5 

67 

I 

1.09 

3.10 

4 

II 

16 

I 

2,14 

7,53 

13 

16 

83 

2 


40 



113, Proprietary Capital. — The proprietary capital includes subscribed 
and paid-up capital, reserves and the unappropriated balances of profit and 
loss account. In the case of concerns where the assets side of the balance 
sheet shows a loss, this amount has been deducted from the sum of subscribed 
capital and reserves. The figures for loans include deposits from persons 
interested in the business as well as loans obtained from banks on the security 
of newsprint. It will be observed that the greater proportion of the capital 
is held in private limited companies, and public joint stock companies from 
the next major category. Though a large number of concerns are under 
individual proprietorship, capital investment in these concerns is compara- 
lively small. 

114. Annual Turnover. — The turnover of the daily press has been examin- 
ed in Table II with reference to the figures of capital investments, as shown 
above, and loan capital. In this table, an attempt has also been made to 
estimate the figures in respect of those concerns which have not furnished 
the required information so as to arrive at an approximate figure for the 
industry as a whole. 


Table II 

Financial statistics of the Daily Press in India for the year 1951 


Items 

Actuals for 
about no 
concerns cover- 
ing over 8o 
per cent- of total 
circulation 

(Rs. in lakhs) 

i 

i Estimates 

for the 
whole Daily 
Press 

(Rs in lakhs) 

I Proprietary capital invested 

6.30 

7.00 

2 Loans ....... 

4 , 5 1 

5.00 

3 Value of fixed assets (not value as per 
balance sheet). 

5.15 

6,00 

4 Value of newsprint stocks 

3.32 

3.50 

5 Annual expenditure on materials (mainly 
newsprint). 

i!: 4 .oi 

4.50 

6 Annual expenditure on salaries and wages 
of all staff including that of the presses 
owned by the papers. 

3.78 

[4.00 

7 Salaries of editorial staff for the year 

80 

85 

8 Circulation revenue for the year 

5.52 

6,00 

9 Advertisement revenue for the year . 

4.78 

5>oo 


It will be observed from the Table that the total proprietary capital invested 
in the business is estimated at about Rs. 7 crores, and the capital in the 
form of loans at about Rs. 5 crores. Thus the total working capital is about 
Rs. 12 crores. The figures shown as investment in fixed assets represent 
the net value of such assets, Le,, cost minus depreciation, on the basis of the 
book values; the actual market value or the cost of replacement at current 
prices may be substantially more. 


42 


115. OTCr-capltaUsatiofi.— We were told that there were many cases where 
the newspaper concerns had been over-capitalised. This was understood 
to mean tlmt the funds employed in the business were considerably in excess 
of its requirements. For the purpose of this definition, funds employed would 
include not only the subscribed capital but also debentures, loans or other 
items which added to the fixed and fluid resources of the concern. It was 
suggested to us that over-capitalisation may be inferred from excessive 
investments in fixed assets not justified by the turnover of the business or 
by large investments outside the business. Ten concerns were mentioned 
in this connection and a study was undertaken of the financial structure 
in each one of these cases. In two instances, where relatively large invest- 
ments had been made in fixed assets, it was found that such investment 
could not have been avoided. A minimum of such investment is necessary 
for producmg a modern newspaper. Further, it is not possible to secure 
machinery tailored to suit the individual needs of a particular newspaper 
and, moreover, if the paper is not to feel handicapped in production it is 
always necessary to buy machinery for the next higher stage of circulation- 
so that durmg the period that such circulation is being built up, the machinery 
installed may not be fully utilised. In one concern substantial advances had 
been made to employees on the managerial side who, in a number of cases 
were also relations of the proprietor. This was not a satisfactory feature’ 
particularly smce the concern was depending on loans for its entire working 
capital. In another concern, we noticed that large investments had been 
made outside the business and that heavy loans had been raised for this 
purpose. The proprietors of the concern had obviously other interests out- 
si e the conduct of the newspaper, and the newspaper concern was utilised 
for handling these transactions also. This too did not strike us as a satis, 
factory development. But on the whole, we did not find evidence of any 
appreciable degree of over-capitalisation as to affect adversely the em- 
ployees share of the profits, or the stability of the concern, although in one 
or two cases machinery might have been purchased on anticipations which 
could not have reasonably been expected to be realised. We may add that 
■in two mstances it appeared obvious that part of the resources belonging 
to the newspaper concerns or raised by way of loans by their concerns had 
^en utilised for the personal requirements of the proprietors instead of for 
the development of the newspaper itself. 

bv w!v capital obtained 

by way of loans, it had been mentioned to us that where such loans art- 

excessive in proportion to the total capital, the fact of indebtedness might 
take away from the independent character of the paper, or render it suscep- 
tible to pressure from the sources from which such loans had been taken 
tofn^'orn-^tT specially mentioned as instances where the proportion of 
loan capital was excessive and might lead to external pressures being exer 
Tthrfi ® .concerned. A detailed study was. iheJSe, SrZZ 

of the financial position of these six papers. The examination disclosed that 
ve o Ifiem had run through their entire working capital by cumulative 

iddtoP^n^^h working, or had utilised aU their capital for 

for fixed assets. In either case, they depended solely on loans 

for day to day operation. In the sixth case, the paper was indebted even to 

toLtoeS Iil^alf^h*^ absorbed all the initial 

investoent. In all these cases an examination of the sources of these loanQ 

substantial amounts had been taken from banks and in one case 
rom ^ msurance company also. These loans were fully secured either 
against stocks of newsprint or against the fixed assets of the concern. Resort 



to debenture capital was made only in exceptional cases. Some unsecured 
loans also formed a substantial portion of the total loan capital of these 
concerns but ^ these loans had been obtained mostly from persons already 
having proprietorial interest in the newspaper undertaking or from other 
concerns in which such persons are financially interested. In view of the 
loans having been taken from the source of the original capital or from 
allied sources, it was considered that the possibility of external pressure, 
apart from the control of the proprietors themselves, did not arise. 

117. We have also examined the suggestion that the financial difficulties 
of newspapers which have had to raise loans in the market might have been 
due, at least in part, to the reluctance of the present proprietors of the 
newspapers to invest the additional capital required for their full develop- 
ment and operation. The detailed study of the loan capital in the concerns 
referred to earlier showed that unsecured loans had been obtained mostly 
from the same sources as the original capital. This does not indicate reluct- 
ance as such on the part of the proprietors to put in the additional amounts 
required by the concerns. It may, however, tend to show that the proprie- 
tors of private limited companies prefer to advance such additional funds 
as loans to the concern rather than invest them as regular capital. Loans 
would have a prior claim against the assets in the event of liquidation, and, 
where a paper is not prospering, we can understand it, if they prefer to find 
the money as loans rather .than as additional capital. One anomalous case 
was, however, an instance of a fiourishing newspaper where additional 
capital had been provided in the form of loans to the concern. It was 
explained to us that the investment as loans represented amounts borrowed 
by the proprietors individually in their personal capacity from banks and 
other outside sources. Apparently, they preferred to limit their personal 
liability in respect of such amounts by advancing them as loans rather than 
as regular capital. Such considerations would also prevail, v/hen require- 
ments of additional resources are obtained from other concerns (including 
public limited companies) in which the proprietors are partly interested. 
They might hesitate to commit the funds of a concern, which is not solely 
their own, to the fortunes of the newspaper in which they are interested. 
It seems to us that whether the additional funds are brought in as regular- 
capital or as loan would not be very significant for the healthy growth 
of the industry, so long as the interest on the loans does not cripple the 
resources of the newspaper concerned, and the fact of indebtedness does 
not lay the paper open to external influence. 

118. Newsprint Consiunption. — The annual consumption of materials (mainly 
newsprint) is estimated at Rs. 4i crores. Stocks of newsprint at the end of the 
accounting periods represent the average requirements for a little over 9 
months. These figures for consumption and stock are for 1951 when prices of 
newsprint were high and there was fear of scarcity in the market. Under more 
normal conditions, the rupee value of newsprint in stock or consumed during 
the year would have been substantially lower. The actual tonnage held in 
stock may also be much lower when supplies are more regular. The assur- 
ance of supplies at reasonable prices would permit of a reduction under 
normal conditions in the loan capital and burden of interest. 

119. Salaries and Wages. — The estimate of over Rs. 4 crores in respect of 
total salaries and wages paid in this industry is arrived at on the basis of 
the amounts debited in the profit and loss accounts. The estimate of about 
Rs. 85 lakhs in respect of salaries to the editorial staff has been arrived at 
on the basis of information given in the statements furnished by news- 
papers. 


44 


120. Revenues. — The figures for the circulation revenue and the adver- 
tisement revenue has been arrived at after deduction of commission paid 
to selling agents or advertising agents, as the case may be. The net circula- 
tion revenue for the daily press is estimated at Rs. 6 crores and the adver- 
tisement revenue at about Rs. 5 crores. 

121. Capital Investment.— It would appear from the above tables that 
the industry as a whole is not unduly over-capitalised or under-capitalised 
with reference to its needs. The total amount of loans is not excessive in 
comparis.jn with. Ihe Ccapital investments. The bulk of if is by way of 
advances ayaijist .^aocks cf newsprinl, a commodity Vvhich is easily saleable, 
and the banks would !iot have much ditficulty in assisting newspapers to 
hold necessary stocks. In any peiiod when newsprint is in freer supply or 
prices are falling, it may be expected that the figure of such advances would 
go down. .No doub! the amour ' of loans excluding normal business loans, 
such as bank advaiices is substantial. To the extent that long term capital 
has not been secured to cover this gap, it may be said that the newspaper 
industry is laying itself open to the exercise of pressure from the concerns 
from which such loans have b.en secured. 

122. To assess the prospects of fresh capital coming into the industry, 
we have examined the profit and loss position of the concerns classified 
according to each type of ownership. Table III gives the total number of 
units returning profits along with the total amount of profits earned by them 
and the percentage of circulation accounted for by such profit earning units 
to the total circulation of the units oT that category. Similar information 
is given in respect of concerns returning losses. 


Table III 

Profit and loss position in 1951 according to the forms of ownership 


I 

i 2 

3 

4 

5 

6 

7 

1 

8 

Nature of concern 

Total 
no. for 
which 
informa- 
Kion is 
javailable’ 

No. of 
units 
return- 
ing 
profits 

Amount 
of profit 
earned 
(Rs. in 
lakhs) 

Percent- 
ages of 
total cir- 
culation 

No. of 
units re- 
turning 
losses 

Amount 
of loss 
(Rs. in 
lakhs) 

Percent- 
ages of 
total cir- 
culation 

I Public Ltd. Co. . 

1 32 , 

II 

8.75 

64 

21 

5.81 

* 36 

2 Private Ltd. Co. . 

27 

12 

17*97 

53 

15 

15*26 

47 

3 Partnership . 

17 

12 

3*13 

85 

5 

2 96 

15 

4 Individuals . 

35 

i 6 

1*75 

55 

19 

3*64 

45 

5 Trusts and Societies 

II 

7 

3*99 

66 

4 

1.47 

34 

6 Others 

5 

I 

•01 

18 

4 

•51 

82 

Total . 

127 

59 1 

35-60 

58 

68 

29 65 

42 


y3. It would appear that while in each category of ownership, certain 
units have returned a profit, others have incurred losses which in some 
categories almost balance the profits earned. The indust^ taken as a whole 
as returned a profit of about 6 lakhs of rupees on a capital investment 
of about Rs. 7 crores, or less than 1 per cent, per annum. This does not 



mean that the profit earning capacity of this industry is uniformly poor. 
It will be seen from Table IV below which covers all cases where informa- 
tion is available regarding both capital investment and profits earned, that 
among the concerns returning profits a good proportion is earning profits 
of over 10 per cent, on the capital invested. 

Table IV 

Return on Capital Invested 

Percentage of net profits to proprietory | Number of concerns 
capital invested i 


More than lo per cent. . . . . i 28 

More than 5 per cent and upto 10 per cent. ! 6 

5 per cent and under . . . . | 13 


Total concerns returning profits . ! 47 


124. Since it generally takes a period of years for a paper to establish 
itself and commence earning profits, the figures above have been examined 
with reference to the number of years that the paper has been in existence. 
The figures are set out in Table V below. Where a newspaper is part of a 
group chain or combine in which the other units are older, the standing of 
the paper has been counted from the inception of the earliest unit. 


Table V 

Return on Capital Invested 
(Units classified according to years of operation! 


I 

2 

3 

; 4 

5 

Units in operation for 

i 

1 

Number 

Number of 
units 
returning 
profit of 

I Number of 
j units 
returning 
profit of 

Niunber of 
units 
returning 
profit of 

units 

1 

5 per cent 
or below 
on capital 
invested 

10 per cent, 
or above 

5 per cent 
: on capital ; 
invested | 

over 10 
per- 
cent on 

capital 
invested 

Less than 5 years . . | 

8 j 

3 

1 1 

I i 

4 

Between 5 and 15 years . . | 

9 i 

3 1 

1 1 

5 

Over 15 years . . - i 

30 

7 j 

4 1 

19 

Total . | 

47 j 

1 

13 1 

6 ! 

28 


4 125. The picture as whole does not reveal tempting prospects for the 

future investor looking only for safe and regular returns on his capital. 
The fact that such laige investments have flowed into the industry in spite 
of this poor return may be attributed partly to the enthusiastic spirit of 
certain missionary workers who collected the necessary capital for the indus- 
try in the early days, and in greater part to the fact that a considerable 
proportion of the investments would have come from the profits earned 
in the industry itself specially during the war years when this industry 
enjoyed a boom. There is also the advent of a certain amount of fresh 
capital from persons anxious to wield influence in public affairs. The fact, 
however, would still remain that as an investment a new newspaper under- 
taking does not look very tempting. 


46 


estimates of the capital Te- 
nements of daily newspapers of different sizes (vide Appendices V and 
XVIII) and have come to the conclusion that the provision required for 
meeting ™nmng losses during the period taken to establish the paper, would 
not be less than the figure of capital required for initial inv^tment in 
machinery and equipment. As a cross check on this, we may take the 
average for the industry as a whole. Taking a typical case of a 
r,p„se„,i„g 1 per cenl. o, whole todm'try* S ,oW 

running budwTS T/lS' fnToT.®"' “““ 

Will nnf tv 4 ^ lakhs. In the first year a newly started daily 

roughly £ takm “ "''*‘=h,.»‘*'^ertisements and the year’s deficit would 

? iakS % Tir advertisement revenue, say, 

revcnue takes four years to build up fa verv 

tWs experience of severaTpaperrS 

IS country) and assuming a progressive reduction in losses the nanpr 

outciiHp Started with arrangements for printing at an 

losoo, ™ '» 

ir:~£si zc 

has been taken ^ 01 all the newspapers published by them 


Table VI 

Circulation and profit earnings 


I 

2 

1 

1 3 

4 

Total circulation 

No. of 

No. of 


concerns 

concerns 

making 

profit 

Percen- 
tage of 

3 to 2 

Below 5,000 . 




* 

42 

18 

43 

5,000 — 15,000 • . , . 



15,000—35,000 ... 

50 

19 

38 



Over 35,000 

22 

14 

64 


12 

* / 

67 


47 


129. It will be seen from the above that papers which have reached 
some sort of equilibrium, whether in the ‘‘small paper” class (below 5,000) 
or in the “large paper” class (over 15,000) have shown a greater number 
of units earning profits. Even as between these two groups of very small 
and large papers, the latter show a higher percentage of units which are 
profitable in operation, while the former, including some papers in the 
initial stages of their life, shows a lower figure. Nor must it be forgotten 
that many of the smaller papers have been able to keep within their 
revenues only by grossly overworking and underpaying the staff. In the 
case of those other papers which are still in the stage of transition from a 
small paper to a large paper, the chances of their earning a profit are not 
great. 

130. Capital has been attracted to this industry not so much as a source 
of safe investment and regular returns but for other reasons, some altruistic 
and some selfish. It seems to us therefore natural to expect the flow of 
additional capital to the present units would continue to depend far too 
much on such motives rather than on the security and remunerative charac- 
ter of the industry itself. We are suggesting elsewhere some measures for 
improving the profit-earning capacity and competitive ability of papers 
which at present are losing. In addition we consider that provision for 
regular ploughing back of a substantial part of the profits into the industry, 
either in the form of reserves or by way of augmenting the equity capital 
is essential in the interest of normal and healthy development of the press. 

131. Weeklies and other periodicals. — In the case of weeklies, we find 
that a good number do not own their own press. This reduces the amount 
of initial capital required for starting a weekly by limiting the investment 
called for to very little over the deficit in the earlier period. This deficit 
would also be very much smaller than in the case of the daily papers 
because the strength of editorial staff is very much smaller and many 
successful periodicals are being run on the basis of contributions paid for 
ad hoc. Further, np payment need be made for services such as from news 
agencies or correspondents. They also sell at a higher price than daUy 
papers of the same size. It is, therefore, such weeklies that offer larger 
scope for investment by the progressive section of the population interested 
in the diffusion of ideas but handicapped by limited resources. The fact 
that certain periodicals which started as weeklies have subsequently con- 
verted themselves into successful dailies is an encouraging aspect. 

132. A big section of the periodicals in existence today have been started 
more or less to find part-time employment for presses already installed 
for job or other printing. Many of these periodicals have now built up 
readership of their own and some have grown to the extent of taking over 
the press and even expanding it to meet their increasing work. The con- 
verse of starting a periodical and buying a press in the expectation of getting 
job-work to make it pay does not. however, appear to have been very 
successful. In consequence, it may be said that both in the case of papers 
which are printed outside and others which are printed at presses already 
in existence, the weekly or monthly periodical offers a fairly satisfactory 
investment and can, therefore, be expected to be able to attract the capital 
it requires for future expansion. But as would be evident from the fore- 
going, many of the weeklies are small undertakings representing very little 
investment of capital. Further, a large proportion r.re proprietorial under- 
takings as in the case of the smaller newspapers and do not appear to main- 
tain regular accounts in the usual form. Only a very small percentage 


48 


furnished us balance sheets. The profit and loss accounts, however, adequate 
for income-tax purposes, are not in sufficient detail to permit of a study. 
The figures supplied by a handful of weeklies and other periodicals would 
not by themselves give a proper indication of the financial investment and 
turnover for this section of the Press. An examination of the finances of the 
periodical press, in the same manner as for the daily press, could not 
therefore be undertaken. 


0 





CHAPTER IV 


ECONOMICS OF DAILY NEWSPAPERS 


Elenirnts that into the eost of production. — Tlie co-i 
of a newspopei* depends on various factors. Tlie main derns tlial constitute 
the cost, have been classified by us as under: — 

(1) Cost of .sertn’ecK: Under this luaid wo iiava’ inciudeci a.ll tnc expenses 
incurred for procuring the reading matter that goes into a newspaper. This 
material is obtained by subseisibing to News Ageneii's and by appointing 
i'oporters and correspondents in the place of publication as well as outside. 
Contributions from other journalists and writers are also ac(‘f‘pted. Pay- 
menis made for all these services form the cost of services. The expendi- 
nire on this item would depend on the size and quaiit>' of the yjaper. A 
paper of large size would have to sul.rwrilx.' to the liighci class of service 
of the News Agencies, which gives the news i:i full delai!, wiicrtais a paper 
of small size may be able to do with a lower class of sor\ ie(' u-lrieh gi\*e.s 
the important news in a condensed form. A paper wliich strivc's to givo 
'ts readers exclusive reports and special reviewes of liappeiiing.s will liave 
to employ a large number of cori'espondents and rep^agers. specialising in 
^•arious helds such as foreign affairs, commerce, sports, etc. and to send them 
all over the country or the world, while another which depends mainlv' on 
agency services manages without such correspondents. 

(2) Edilorial costs: After the mateiaal has been eoileeted, items for pub- 
]i(‘ation will have to lie selected, condensed and in some eases re-\vritlen 
Leading articles as well as special columns hav'S to ho writtcm Then tlie 
reading matter and the adveiiisements are to bo arranged to make up the 
different pages of a newspapeit This work is done by the editorial staff, 
and their remuneration has been classified as tlie editorial costs. The expen- 
diture on this item would naturally depend on the si/e and Quality of the 
paper, and the number of specialists on different subjects that an' ('inployed. 

(3) Cost of Materials: The cost of newsprint and ink waiuld form the 
bulk of the cost of materials, and expenditure would depend on the size 
and number of pages as well as the total numbei' of copies printed. 

( 4 ) Composing and Printing Costs: Composing and printing form the 
mechanical part of newspaper production. The contents of eacli page have 
to be made up, in type-metal, on the lines decided by the editorial staff 
(Composing) and a number of impressions have to be taken of this metal 
page on newsprint (Printing). 

Three methods of composing are used in Indian newspapers 

(a) Machine composition: The work of composing is done by machine, 
the operator having only to pres.s the appropriate keys on a 
machine, which ultimately casts the type of each letter from 
lead alloy and sets them into lines of matter. They are then 

49 


18 MofIi^B. 


made up into pages, and in the case of stereo printing, recast in 
the form of a complete page. 

(b) Hand cornposition: The work of setting up in type is done by hand 

from a large stock of types of various letters. Sometimes, 
stereo-plates are cast from hand composed material. 

(c) Manuscript composition: The whole page is written out by hand 

on a special paper with a special ink and transferred to a 
metal plate or stone. 

There are three methods of printing according to the type of machinery 
used and these are as under: — 

(a) Stereo Rotary Printing: The Stereo Rotary Press is a high speed 
machine capable of printing upto 60,000 copies per hour, and is 
therefore specially suited for a newspaper production. A 
papiermache impression is taken from the metal page and bent 
into an arc of a circle. From it are cast curved metal stereo- 
type plates which are clamped round the rollers of the Press. 
Paper in the form of a roll, is fed in from one end and on the 
other side the newspaper come.s out automatically cut, folded 
counted and ready to be packed and despatched. 

(b^ Flat^bed inacliines: The flat-bed machine is the ordinary printing 
machine used by the presses for job-work. In this ease copies 
are taken, by pi-essing cut sheets of paper against the inked 
rnelal page. The speed of printing does not exceed 2,000 copies 
per hour. For newspaper work, other machines are sometimes 
used which can handle paper in large rolls. These machines 
can turn out up to 6,000 copies per hour. 

(o') Ijitho Printing: This method is used 1)\' newspapers employing 
the manuscript method of composition and involve.s the use of 
the machines of the types already desc.i'ibecl with the additional 
equipment for handling the plate from whicli copies are taken. 

English papers use machine composition to a considerable extent, while 
the majority of the Indian language papeis rely on hand eomposition. In 
Urdu papers, composition is done by manuscript. Machine composition 
naturally requires more capital outlay, but is more efficient and saves time. 

Most of the Metropolitan, Provincial and even some District newspapers 
having a substantial circulation print on Stereo Rotary pressc's. It is essen- 
tial for a newspaper to shorten the time spent on printing as much as possi- 
ble so that it can give its readers the latest news, and only the Stereo Rotary 
is suitable for this purpose where the circulation is large. Most District 
papers and even some of the small papers at Metropolitan and Provincial 
centres are produced on flat-bed machines which require much less capita! 
outlay than a Stereo Rotar.v . Urdu papers are printed on Litho Printing 
machines. 

The eomposiiif; and printin.E; costs would naturally depend on the methods 
used and on the capital outlay which would affect the depreciation and 
interest charge.s. Some papers, specially in Urdu, get the printing done at 
out.side pres,ses catering for job-work. But a.s time is an essential factor, it 
is generally the practice for a paper of fair circulation to own its press. 
Under the head of composing and printing costs we have included all items 
of factory costs including cost of proof-reading, but excluding distribution 
costs. 


(5) Distribution costs: The expenses of packing and delivering the 
newspaper to the Agents by rail, road or air and to subscribers by post, form 
the distribution costs. These naturally depend on the spread of circulation 
of the paper. 

(6) Managerial costs: The remuneration paid to Managerial and Genera] 
•establishment forms the Managerial costs. 

(7) General Overheads: The other sundry expenses such as rent, postage 
etc. would form the general overhead costs of a newspaper. This item as 
well as the previous one would depend on the size of the unit and its 
organisational set up. 

(8) Depreciation: The amount of depreciation would mainly depend on 
the type of composing and printing machinery used as well as on the value 
of other assets such as building, furniture, lorries etc. 

134. Variations in Production Costs. — It would appear from the foregoing 
that the cost of production varies from paper to paper and would depend 
on the size, quality, method of composing and printing and general organi- 
sational set-up. The location and the general wage level also affect the 
cost. For any given set of conditions the cost per copy depends very 
markedly on circulation. Except for newsprint and ink, the elements that 
contribute to the production cost do not increase proportionately with increase 
in circulation. Thus large circulations progressively reduce the cost of pro- 
duction of a copy of newspaper. 

135. There are considerable differences in the cost of production as 
between English Dailies and Indian Language Dailie.s. These are due in 
part to the difference in language. For instance, the amount of editorial 
matter that a page of English paper can carry, is much greater than the 
amount of similar material that can be carried in an Indian language paper 
of the same size. This is due to the difference in the size of the characters 
as normally used for printing. The characters used for English are much 
smaller and therefore permit the printing of up to 1,400 words per column 
as against about half of that number in Bengali and about a third or less 
in Oriya. The volume of editorial matter carried in Indian language papers 
is less, though all the material received has to be processed or prepared 
in oi’iginal by the staff. The majorhy^ of English paper.s tiave more pages 
than the papers in Indian languages and this factoj- alTects the cost of pro- 
duction. Another factor conducive to lower expenses in lh<' case of Indian 
language papers is that lower salaries are paid on the a\'erage for the cdito- 
I’ial and other staff. This arises partly from the greater availability of 
personnel knowing Indian languages but in a large measure it is due to the 
fact that the standard of profieieny in particular languages that obtains 
today is lower than the standard of proficiency demanded in the case of 
English. On the other hand there are certain factors wliich tend to make 
the cost of production of Indian language papers more than that of English 
language papers. One is the comparatively lower output of the composing 
room staff. In the case of hand composing, this is due to the much larger 
number of characters a compositor has to utilise, and the time taken to 
compose a column is much greater than m the case of English even allowing 
for the larger characters. In the case of machine composition also a similar 
disparity exists. This may be due to the lack of proficiency of the operating 
staff or inefficiency of the type-setting machines for the Indian languages 
In the case of printing costs, there are no very great differences as between 
English and Indian languages. It would appear that for reasons mentioned 
above, the cost of production of Indian language papers is lower than that of 


62 


the English papers. An improveinent in their standard of production and pay- 
ment of belter wages to employees might lead to an increase in the cost 
'jf production, but as long as there are no very great improvements in typo- 
graphy leading to higher space utilisation in the case of Indian language 
newspapers, there is no reason to anticipate any substantial rise in the cost 
of production of Indian language newspapers to bring them within compar- 
aide range of Englisli newspapers. 

136. Tile District papeus have generally a lower cost of production than 
Metropolitan papers due to their lower Service cost, ust' of Flat-bed 
machines for printing and lower wage level, but their low circulations tend 
to increase the relative cost of production per copy. The provincial papers 
who have to compete with Metropolitan papers m serv/ices and printing 
have often a higher cost of production per copy than their Metropolitan 
competitors as the latter get the advantage of iheir high circulations, and 
of group economies referred to later in this Chapter. 

137. We liave examined in detail the breakdown of c’osl in respect of 30 
dailies for the yeai' 1951 and the results are given in Appendix XIX. The 
i'ems vary widely from paper to paper, and the total figures for some English 
Mud Indian language papers are given below, as well as the average iiici- 
ience of eai’li item in iiie total cost. 

TaEI E I 

Breakdoirv of rosis of producium 

h ngl i s h 1 di pc rs I n d i a n ! gn a gc 

- v) papers, total cir- Idtpcrs 

CLilaiion 4.02,000'' mi papers, tolal cir- 
culation 4,22,000! 

Rs. Per cent Rs. Per cent 

tlii-usands' of thousands) of 
total total 


Services 

Editorial 

Materials 

( iain pos j ng , pr i u t i n g 
Distribution . 
Management . 
Overheads 
Depreciation 



10 '^7 

n,47 

67 o 

7 3 '2! 

10% 

13,77 

7 % 

,0543 

32% 

90,68 

45 % 

57^55 

t8%, 

30,96 

1 5 "8 

29,02 


18,50 

9 % 

28,49 , 

93 v, 

10,59 

5 % 

2S,S3 

8% 

1644 

8% 

12,37 


9,7s 

c 0/ 

A ,0 


'Pot A I 


3,24,29 100% 2, 02, T9 100% 


138. It would be seen that the cost of production of the Indian language 
paper is lower in terms of actual expenditure in spite of the fact that more 
newspapers have been included in that category. The expenditure on 
services and on editorial staff can noimially be expected to be higher where 
a large number of papers are counted, than when a small number are 
included in the calculations, because separate staff would have to be engaged 
for each paper, separate subscriptions paid to the news agencies, and so on. 
The expenditure of the Indian language papers under these heads should 
therefore be higher, because 21 papers have been considered, and that of the 
English papers lower because only 9 papers have been considered. Actually 



the Indian language papers are spending much less. If we take the experuii- 
ture on newsprint as proportional to the number of pages printech the Indian 
language papers printi d iTjughlv' 80 per cent, of the pages of the English 
papers. If editorial and servit'e ousts are proportional to the' number of 
pages, then the Indian ianguagi' nailers should have spent 80 per cent, of 
what th(' English papers spent., but the\- have actually spent less than 40 per 
eo'nt. As a result of the low cxpiaidilure on these irnportan! itenv-. the cost 
of newsprint tigures is a much higher peroentage in ttu* vase of liulirin 
iatiguage paps'rs than in Knglisli pap('rs. 

bg). Newsprint costs. • O’he abox'c anai\'sis rei'ers \i> 1bo‘ :v.su' b-'P v ia.w 
newsprint i)ri(‘es wert* \’er>' higlu In normal times tiw (Sjst of materials is 
expeefed to I'v a '-'njalUs' }’>i‘ 0 |;')ortion of tlie total cost of production. News- 
inanl ora^ of tlu' Cvunmod i bc'- in whiefi v\'orId conditions delermiiie prices. 
India Is a eomparat !\'ely small consumer of ]iew;g..a int and oannot hope to 
tnliuence prices in any w?iv. 'hhe present price; of !U'v\s|)r)nt is about fot.ir 
times the price in September 1030. O'his does not compare unfavourably 
with pricfss of other semi-manufactured raw materials. On the other liand 
the w-ago lc\a l whicli affects tht' ottier items of cost ol newspapers has not 
risen in the same proportion, it is inevitable theig'fore that the cost of 
newspimit is a biggei’ fraction of the total cost of production and tliat 
tluctuations in 1lu‘ [ii-icc alTect flic return fi'orn newspapers to a greater 
extent than formerly. 

140. While < xanninng the cxptmditure or^ nc\^'s^,g•In^ we found tlial tlie 
prices at whicOi newsprint was pui'cliased by different eoru'crns in 1051 varied 
whthin wide.' limits. 

Table IT 

Vt ur /95/ 


( 




10 ice of New s}a in! 


Source 


;\ 

H 

C 

D 

h 

}' 


t)C)0 
J.^OSO 
SSO 
b'35^> 
1 *9 

i ,592 

Ks I 


I ni ported 


i -ocaliy pLirctiascd 

»> 


141. It may be that some small part of these variations in prices is due 
to differences in quality' of the paper but the large differences are perhaps 
due to the source of supply. European or North American, and 1h(; large 
fluctuations in the formei’ case. The difference in rates between local 
purchases and direct imports is however sub-stantial. Therefore, tliere may 
be some room for economy in the cost of production if some arrangements 
can be made for smaller newspapers, who cannot import their individual 
requirements, to irni:)ort m bulk and distribute the supplies to them. Our 
recommendations in this j'cgard are given in Chapter VI. 


142. It is interesting to compare the breakdown of the cost of papers in 
our country with that in United Kingdfun (as given on page 82 of the Report 
of the Royal Commission on the Press). It will be seen that United Kingdom 
papers spend slightly more on services and editing than on newsprint, w.^hile 
our papers have to spend a large portion of total expenditure on newsprint 
and much less on services and editorial charges. 


54 

143. Other factors. — It has been represented to us that some Managements 
of the papers have followed certain practices that have increased the cost 
of production and thus reduced the profit available for distribution as bonus. 

The methods are mainly: 

1. To employ a number of persons (mostly relations of the employer) 

on high salaries. In some cases an excessive number of such 
posts are created on the managerial side and the resources of 
the concerns are thus drained away. 

2. To pay excessive commission to concerns in which the main share- 

holdtns or directors are interested. These payments may be by 
way of commission for the purchase of newsprint, for acting as 
Sole Selling-Agents, Sole Advertising-Agents or Managing- 
Agent.s. and sometimes even without any business justification. 

144. We have examined the specific cases which were cited to us and in 
some of them we have noticed that one or more of the above practices have 
prevailed. We have referred, for instance, in Chapter III to a concern which 
has made advances of substantial sums to members of the staff who were 
relatives of the proprietors. These same people, both men and women, are 
also in receipt of regular monthlj^ salaries, being shown against what 
appeared to be supernumerary posts in the managerial section. In the case 
of another combine which publishes three papers from one centre, members 
of the family, in addition to the large salaries that they drew, derived large 
benefits by way of commission on supplies of newsprint and on sales of 
copies, with the result that the combine is showing a substantial loss on 
working, while but for these inroads on its finances, it would have shown 
a fair profit. Another group had been paying a heavy commission to its 
sole advertising agent; when later it terminated the arrangement and took 
advertisements directly, its expenditure on this account had been cut by 
half from the former figure. Such practices work to the detriment of the 
developmient of the industry and creation of good-will among the employees,. 

145. Sources of revenue. — The main soiu'ces of revenue of a newspaper 
ax’e from sale of new\spaper and advertisements. Apart from these some 
papers receive revenue from job-work and the conduct of competitions with 
money-prizes. The receipts from the sale of the copies of newspapers and 
periodicals depend on the number of copies sold, the retail selling price per 
copy and commission paid to Sales Agents. In the case of weeklies and 
periodicals, sales to subscadbers form a substantial portion of revenue; here no 
commission to agents is required to be paid but postage expenses are incur- 
red. In the case of dailies, sales to subscribers are insignificant and the bulk 
of the sales is effected through the Agents. 

146. Pricing Policy.- — The publisher's estimate, or guess, about what 

readers can pay appears to be major factor in fixing the selling prices O 

generally. The number of papers and their circulation, classified according 

to the retail selling prices of dailies for each language, is given in Appendix 
XX. In Indian languages, the bulk of the papers are selling at one anna 
per copy. In some languages, specially in Bengali, Gujarati and Hindi, there 
are some papers sold at higher prices such as 0-1-6, 0-2-0 and 0-2-6, while 
in Malayalam a number of papers are sold at 0-1-3. There are Kannada 
dailies which are sold at 0-0-6 but a number of them are evening papers. 

Urdu has a large number of papers sold at 0-2-0. Among English papers 
there is a good number sold at 0-2-6, 0-2-0 and 0-1-6, while the papers sold 


66 


at 0-1-0 are very few. It would therefore be safe to conclude that the 
English papers are read by a comparatively richer class of people. An 
abstract comparing English papers with Indian language papers is given in 
the following table: — 

Table III 

Number of Daily Papers sold at different retail prices 


Numbei of papers 



Ketaii J 

idling 

rricc per copy 


! English j 

Other 1 
languages I 

Total 

-/3/- 






t 

i 1 

1 

-12I6 





9 

7 

16 

-72/- 





; U ^ 

41 i 

55 

»/i/6 





; ^ : 

43 

49 

-/1/3 





1 . . : 

18 ^ 

18 

-/I/- 





I JO i 

91 

lOT 

-H9 





1 i 

- 1 

***- 

-/-/6 





i . . 

2T j 

21. 

~hl3 





i 

1 ■ ' ■ 

12 ! 

1 

12 






J 39 ‘ 

236* ' 

-75*. 


(*Each publication has been counted as one paper, e.g. Times of India. 
Bombay and Delhi, have been counted as two separate papers.) 


Table TV 

Nuniher of copies of Daily Papers sold, at different retail prices 




a 


Retail selling price per copy 


-I3I- 

-/ 2/6 

-I2I- 

-/1/6 

-/i73 

-hl- 

-H9 

-/-/6 

-/-/3 


(* Covers over 96 per cent, of 


Copies 

sold ' in thouands) 

; Hnglisii 

1 i 

i Other ' 

Total 

( 

; languages j 


! 3*32 1 

i 

: 8 ! 

i 2,40 : 

8 

5v2 

2,13 

2,95 

5,08 

: 1,06 

2,90 j 


t • • ; 

E63 * 

,.63 

; ^ 

75^5 1 



2 

2 


47 

47 


15 

E5 

1 6,94* ' 

17,65* 

24,59* 


estimate d c i rcula tion . ) 


147. The selling price is also affected by the extent to w^hich a paper 
depends on circulation revenue for meeting its budget. The advertisement 
revenue of Malayalam papers is lower than of other Indian language papers 
and so they fix their prices a little higher than papers in the other languages. 
In the case of many Urdu papers also, a similar condition prevails. 


148. The extent of competition among the papers, and the existence of 
local agreements between publishers arc also two other factors determining 
the selling price. Thus among English papers we find that generally the 


58 


provincial papers are priced a lltilc less lhan the Metropolitan papers With 
v/hich they iiavc^ to compete. Even in Bombay and Madras it will r>e found 
that the English papers ranking second and third in circeilallo]; 

than the paper with top eirculatioir The prices 

^ ‘^onit Pc! pet > have hecm reduced after the newsprint control 
September ]<)52. In Ahmedabad Sandesh and Gujarati 
^amaehar winch were being sold for 0-2-0 reduced their price to 0-1-6 
H len they laced cornpelit ion of a newly started paper ‘Jansatta’ priced 0-1-0. 

e understand tiiat in (T.P. some papers were able to maintain their selling 
pt a cs at ci Stil j.st act c)i;y py common tagreennent 

NO. We ii.id .hi,-hei pi-jeed papers inoi-e common in Metropolitan town<; 
m rovme.ai or Di.sirui (owns. This ,s partly because readers in 
Me.n.polKaii tovvn.-. can a(Tor.) lo pay more and partly because they expect 
„ . paper (c.o. commercial and other specialised 

yy.'- P''ovjnciai papers stand midway between Metropolitan and 

Uis rict papcr,s )n tins roespect. In Marathi, Tamil and TeluKu, the papers 
m all the towns Mtdropolitaa, Provincial and District have praetically levelled 
down their prices to 0-1-0. 

hd). Advertiseiiieiit Revenue, — Advertisemcmt revenue depends on Hit- 
space the paper is able to seli to advertisers and the rate it is able to charge 
01 tlus space. All the amounts billed to advertisers cannot be accounted 
as revenue, since tlie papers have also to pay commission to the Advertising 
Agencies and canvassers and have also to keep some staff of their own for 
securing advertisements. Tim rate per column-inch of space that it is able 
to charge would be more for higher circulation and it would also depend 
on the purchasine power of the readers. We shall consider all the.se aspects 
of advert isernenls m deta,il in a later Chapter and would restrict ourselves 
here to a general discussion of advertisement revenue. 

ly. We have examined the amount of advertisement revenue obtained 
by the dames py copy per annum, as accounted m the returns .submitted 
to us. A la.,le showing the distribution of advertisement revenue among the 
papers ol clitlerent circulation ranges, separately for English and Indian 
Payrs, IS given in Appendix .XXI. It would appear that the 
amount ol advertisement revenue per copy obtained varies within a very 
wide range. An abstract of the figures is given in the following table; — 

Table V 

Advertisement Revenue of Daily Papers per copy sold per annum 


d \'cr 1 i scni e n T Rc vc ii u c 


Numberiof Dailies 

' Total 

hnglish Other 
languages 


Under and upio Rs. 5/- . 

Over Rs. 5/- and upto Rs. 10 - 
Over Rs. 10,'- and upto Rs. 15 - 
Over Rs. 15,/- and upto Rs. 25/- 
Over Rs. 25/- and upto Rs. 40/- 
Over Rs. 40/- and up to Rs 60/- 
Over Rs, 6oH and upto Rs. 80/- 


17 

19 

23 

29 

12 

2 


17 

19 

23 

32 

20 
9 
3 


123 



The circuiation of a paper anc* its loeaiion, i.c.. rnetropolitais pru\ rncKi! 
or district town does not appear to ah'ect the revenue obtained per c(ip\- 
to the extent that inay be expected. The reason, is that even Hiouyli smaller 
and district papers get a lesser v(.dutn(' oi' adx’ertisernent. they are able to 
make gooci the deficiency by charging comparat i vei\- higher rates per mille. 
The relative standing and ranking of circulation '(owever inaierially affects 
the adverlisemenl rexenue. A weii established paper o.l long standing is 
naturariy considered a better advertisement rneduim than a newlv started 
venture. Ad\'ertisei‘s with limited budgets can advertisi' orjiy in a few 
papers that claim to reach the desii'ed area or readership. In such a case, 
only the top ranking paper and to song' extent the next are likejy tii get 
advertisements from them. This is also true of classified ad ventisements, 
Thus relative ranking in eireuialion has a gi'eat (dTeet on liie ad^’('rtisement 
revenue. 


152. We have examined some of the morning papers in the important 
languag(ss and the averagt' amount of advertisement revenue per copy 
obtained by these papers during tlie year 1951 are as under; 


Table VI 

Average revenue per copy per annnni 


4-\vcr-igs 

h>r" 

l\s. papal:, 

linghsh . 

Hindi . 

Bengali 
Gujarati 
Kannada 
Alalayalam 
Marathi 
Tamil 
'reiugii - 
Urdu 


153. There is a great disparity in advertisement revenue per copy between 
English and Indian language papers. We are examining this point at greater 
length in Chapter V. The advertisement rex^emie of other languages does 
not show much variation except Gujarati and -Malayalam. The industrial 
and commercial prosperity of the region where Gujarati papers are published 
appears to be a factor favourable to Gujarati papers. In the case of 
Malayalam the growth of the press has outpaced the industrial and com- 
mercial progress of the region, so that the total advertisement budget of 
the region, which is not large, appears to liave been distributed over a large 
number of papers and the advertisement revenue per copy obtained by each 
paper is much lower than in papers in other languages. 


4” 


1 I 


14 


Job-work . — The extent to which job work plays a part in the financial 
structure of a newspaper is dependent upon the nature of the organisation 
and the place where it is located. Small papers in District towns do not 
have the same opportunities for building up business in job work as big 
papers at the Metropolitan Centres but even in the latter case, it is reported 
that more and more of the remunerative items of job work are going to 
specialised presses and the biggest job press in the country belonging to a 
leading newspaper is losing on this side of the business. 



58 


154. Though a number of newspapers have stated that they undertake 
job-work, this has served as an important source of revenue only in a very 
few cases. (It may be noted that the newsprint Stereo Rotary Press is 
suited only for printing newspapers and periodicals.) Undertaking of job- 
work would in no way be helpful to the conduct of newspapers unless the 
job-work by itself is paying. 

155. Competitions, - Crosswords and similar competitions did form an 
important source of revenue in the case of a very few periodicals in the 
past but now they appear to serve more as a means of promoting circulation 
than a source of revenue, and are conducted for this purpose even if they 
are not returning direct profits. 

156. Donations. — In their early stages some of the important papers did 
receive support from the public in the form of donations to assist them in 
fighting for the national cause, but now there are only a few instances of 
papers receiving donations, and these are religious missionary enterprises 
generally. The papers of one political party are however supported largely 
by such donations. 

157. Balance between circulation and advertisement revenue. — As has 

been discussed earlier the sale of copies and the booking of advertisements 
are the tw’o main sources of revenues for a newspaper undertaking. The 
circulation revenue alone is not able to cover the cost of production and a 
newspaper has to rely on advertisement revenue for making both ends meet. 
On the other hand to the extent that a paper can get more advertisement 
revenue, it can afford to reduce its price or improve its news and features 
thus giving a better service to the readers at a cheaper rate. It is not 
possible for a newspaper to have an unlimited amount of advertisement 
revenue. If the total space occupied by advertisement is excessive, there is 
reduction in the attention that it gets from the readers and thus the 
advertisers fail to get a fair return for the amount spent. On the basis of 
evidence tendei'ed to us by various parties we consider that the advertise- 
ments should not occupy more than 40 per cent, of the total space of a news- 
paper.. so that both the readers and advertisers get a fair return. 


158. The cost of production as w^ell as the circulation revenue being more 
or less rigid for a newspaper in a particular set-up, it looks to advertisement 
revenue for paying its way and for making profits. This has tempted news- 
papers to follow unhealthy practices in order to get more advertisement 
revenue. (Ifreatcr dependence on advertisement revenue exposes a news- 
paper to pre.ssure from advertisers. A proper balance between circulation 
and advertisement revenue is essential not only from the point of view of 
economic stability of the paper but also of healthy journalism. 

159. Taking the daily papers as a whole the total circulation revenue is 
estimated at Rs. 6 crores and advertisement revenue at Rs. 5 crores and 
this gives the ratio of 6 to 5 or 55 per cent, to 45 per cent, between the 
circulation and advertisement revenue. The actual ratio for individual 
papers varies within a very wide range. We have examined this ratio in 
respect of 127 morning Dailies and the results obtained have been shown 
on a tabular form in Appendix XXII. An abstract is given below. The 
table indicates in each case the proportion that the advertisement revenu® 
bears to the total revenue. 



59 


Table VII 

Proportion of Advertising Revenue Daily Newspapers— im 


Percentage of Advertisement Revenue to total Revenue 


Below and 'upto 15% 
Over 15% and upto 20% 
Over 20% and upto 25% 
Over 25% and upto 30% 
Over 30% and upto 35% 
Over 35% and upto 40% 
Over 40% and upto 45% 
Over 45% and upto 50% 
Over 50% and upto 
Over 55% and upto 60 % 
Over 60% and upto 6 ^% 
Over 65% . . “ . 


Number 

of Dailies 




English 

Other 

1 oral 


languages 



6 

6 


7 

7 


9 

9 


10 

ID 


11 

1 1 

2 

14 

36 

3 

16 

19 

3 

II 

14 

3 

6 

9 

3 

5 

8 

5 

4 

9 

3 

6 

9 

22 

105 

i27i 


160. In working out the proportions only the revenue from the paper 
has been taken into account, and revenue from any other source such as 
rent, jOb~work or crossword puzzles has been excluded. It would be seen 
therefrom that there are some papers where the advertisement revenue is 
less than 15 per cent, of the total revenue. Generally, papers in English 
lanpage earn more from advertisement revenue than circulation revenue 
while the reverse is the case in respect of Indian language papers. This 
ratio IS affected more or less by general factors such as the purchasing power 
of the readers and the amount of competition in the area. It has already 
been mentioned that Malayalam and Urdu papers do not depend on 
advertisement revenue fo the same extent as papers in other Indian languages, 
since they sell their copies at a higher price. In Gujarati dailies, though the 
advertisement revenue per copy is higher than in other Indian languages, 
the papers are also able to get a better price per copy, and consequently 
the ratio of advertisement revenue to circulation revenue is of the same 
order. 


161. In view of the large variations in the economic structure of the 
newspapers, their capital outlay, the cost of production and ability to obtain 
circulation and advertisement revenues, it is not possible for us to prescribe 
any ideal ratio between (he circulation and advertisement revenue, which 
would be desirable from the point of view of healthy growth of journalism. 
If the expansion of newspaper readership takes place at a faster rale than 
the increase in the commercial and industrial activity as is very likely with 
the rapid spread of education, we expect a further fall in the advertisement 
revenue per copy as has been observed in the ca.se of Malayalam dailies. 
We therefore feel that any step that may help newspapers to be less 
dependent on advertisement revenue would be be welcome. It has been 
suggested to us that a price-page schedule would be one such measure 
as it would make it possible for the papers to increase their selling prices 
and thus expand their circulation revenue. If an increase in selling prices 
i.s not considered desirable, they could effect a saving in the cost of production 
by reducing the number of pages. 


U)2. Circulation. — Circulation is tiie key t(> the ecunoniic success oi' a 
.paper. An increase in circulation reduces the cost of production per 
copy and the!-cl)V’ increases tlic nett return and it also increases the advertlse- 
^hving the paper standing and relative ranking, as well as 
by penniUuiL, an increase in tlie rates. Every newspaper therefore strives 
to ini I us ciiculation by adopting various means of (‘ompeting with the 
(hher newspapers. 


yi:v The iin.,- fa..(„r.--Tiin<. is a very ..osisive factor in In 

■ ic I liaiJtci (icalini,; with competition and rnonopohes we are discussing how 
Jlie time tacioi' aftects the circulation of various papers and how the means 
olyoinmuiiicalion and railwa.v (iniines liavc played a part in this connecfion 
Wc .n!;;ht retcr here to the relative' eireuiation of the Tribune published 
tr,.m ..\n mala and Hindustan Times published m Delhi, ii, Jammu and 
Srinagar. Uuniig one period the 'I'ribune sold only !Hl copies in Jaininu 
o'.'-',,'’'’ yd'" "I'ereas the Hindustan Times was able to sell 

y ' y*' ■ ’' y’yy iespccti\cl,\ in these lov. ns. The Dellii paper could travel 
o . arnmu and Srinagar direelly by air. reaching Jammu by 11 a.m. and 
Srina,gar l.,\' midda.v. 'i'he Ambala paper had to be sent to Delhi to catch 

the plane or travel b.x rail to Palhankot and then by road to Jammu and 

Siina.gar. A.- ;i lesult llie Ambala paper wliich, when it was at I.ahore and 

in direc, ran conlact with Jammu, had a bgg circulation in that area had 

lost grouiKi 10 the Delhi paper which can get ciuickiy by air to the readers, 
-.eneiall.e 11 ma.v be said that the papers published at Metropolitan centres 
ate m a lavoural.l.- po.sition in this respect because these centres are verv 
A ‘ "*"'‘'1 '^’h t'oad and aii' with the surrounding places and the 
Irrm.sport timings aic also convenient at such centre, s. The District papers 
would naturally be alTeeted by the timings of road transport connecting \e 

tia i.|)oj( i,a.~ been or is being nationalised, it will be possible for the 
at.thonties to consider the needs of such newspapers while fmin.g the timmt 


prices. The selling price of a paper would nalurallv I.-u" 
an rniportam effect on its circulation. In this connection we have examined 
the eflect ol price-cuts adopted by two English papers ai Bomba,v on the 
circula ion of those two papers as well as of the leading paper which did 
not reduce its price. Prior to 27th O.-tober 1952 Times of India which had 
the highest circulation at Bombay was being sold at 0-2-6 while Free Press 
Jourttal and Rational Standard which rank next m circulation were being 

m ) "?i 10 " its price 

t t il TotfVi "mV'*'"' c"'* '^“‘''bled Its circulation. On 

•A July 1,15.1 ,hc National Standard was converted into a Bombay edition 

o Indian Express with a .selling price of 0-1-6. Within six months it too 

figures of circulation of these 
papeis uiing this jieriod have been referred to in Chapter II) During 

this period the Time.s of India which did not reduce its selling price continued 
ream ,ls raadc, ship. Thu, il would appear .hat Free p”. Journal a„d 
Indian ^Press by reducing their price have been able to tap new readership 
which la eiK in the market but which could not pay the higher prices 
prevailing earlier. Where however the prices of newspapers are substanHallv 
chOeren tnere is u.sually a marked difference in the standards of production 
and m the services offered, and generally speaking such papers would be 
f ateiiny to the iieed.s of different classes of readers. 


61 


jt)5. There- is anothej' instance ihustratin^e the cITect of selling price or, 
the eiri'ulation. The two leading Tamil papers Swadesariiilran and Dinarnam 
:u Madras, antieipating towards the (•nd of 1950 a stec'p rise- in the price of 
vK-vvsprint. eami' to an underslandini- and raised the price of their papers 
from 0-1-0 to 0-1-0. (These papers normally carried 30 to 30 pages per 
xveek). The increase in price from 0-1-0 per copy to 0-1-6 was brought into 
effect from 1st January 1951. The result was a drastic fall in circulation 
in both their cases. Subsequently in view of this fall in circulation they 
agreed to reduce their prices to tlie old figure. While the original fall in 
circulation came about in three months duration one paper took more than 
9 months to recover its old circulation while the other had not done so. The 
relevant figures of eireulation are as under: — 

Table VIII 


I >nianu) iii 

mil ran 


( .vci !ia! irai (Vi dai'.,; • 'iiercaMt'.r p:ice ; ■ ■ 

< arciilahoii on 1 - 4 -si ’'V’nt ii prize was rednecvi iia Uie '.)rirmal level 
('ivcnlaiioii in janiiary ms2 ...... 

Circulation in januarv Kggs ... 


07,050 S i ,2 I 

'.I. sec 33, 0~ 

<'0,703 39,99s 

e'-.e34 J0,3..^3 


It .may !)e menlioned in tins eonne(‘tion dial the cu’eulation of a competing 
paper, Thanthi (published from Madras and Madurai) did not rise during 
the three months when the two leading papers had increased the price, 
C1 iiari :tctuad>’ gone down siigiitly from 21,000 to Ift.OOO.* nor did it fall 
a ben the pric'Cs of the leading papers were lowered again. Tiie eonciusion 
therefore appears to be that o\er 33,000 readers had stopped taking any 
papers ftecause the price had been raised; apparently some readers had 
U arned to elub their iiewspaper requirements and to lie content with one 
eepv for ioany readei's. 'The pi'riod examined eoincided with an accentuation 
of di<>uglil eoi,iditions in Tamil Nad; a certain fall in cireulatioji all round 
can be attributed to these conditions. Nevei-theless. it cannot be denied that 
a change in price did liavc a profound effect on the circulation of those two 
papers. 

News agents. — The news agent fonn.<^ an important ImK between 
newspaper producer and the reader, foj‘ it is lu^ who ju-luaily distributes the 
paper. He is paid a commission foi’ selling the newspaper, the rate varying 
from 25 per cent, to 66 per cent., the usual rate being 25 to 33 1/3 per cent. 
Many papers in order to boost their circulation offer a large commission 
to the agents. Even some of the heading Metropolitan papers are offering 
f’ommission between 40 per cent, and 50 per cent, to the agents. Incidentally, 
these papers belong to combines and chains. As a result tire Provincial 
papers which compete with the.se papers, have also to offer large commission 
to the agents. One such paper at Calcutta allows the moffusil agents to 
sell copies at a lesser retail price than that marked on the paper though in 
Calcutta City itself it is sold at the marked retail price. We have also 
noticed that one of the provincial papers offers special rates of commission 
to agents at four different towns where it feels the competition from 
Metropolitan papers. 

167. It has been stated before us that apart from the payment of high 
commission, certain papers with large financial resources do not hesitate to 
use undcrliand methods to eliminate a rival. One of such methods .is to 
dump on the news agents a large number of copies at a special concession 


62 


rate, in order to induce the agents to sell these instead of other papers 
which they formerly used to supply to their customers. Another method 
which has been alleged is to carry on consistent propaganda, through the 
news agents, to the effect that the particular rival whom they want to kill 
has not appeared on certain dates, or has been irregular in publication, or 
even that it has closed down. This had the effect of making even loyal 
subscribers change to other papers in the belief that their favourite paper 
is in difficulties and cannot be depended upon lor regular appearance. The 
news agents helped the newspaper to play this game because of the copies 
which they got at special concession rates. 

168. We consider that the range of commission that should be paid to 
news agents should be narrowed down, say between 25 and 33 1/3 per cent. 
Any payment of commission above this rate as well as the payment of 
special commissions or other inducements to news agents or allowing them 
to sell tile papers at reduced prices should be considered unfair practices. 
They not only give an advantage to papers with large financial resources 
but they are unfair to readers also, in as much as the readers could have 
got the paper at a lower price but for this large amount going into the 
agent’s pocket. 


l()h. Number of pages. — Another method of competition is to give better, 
more varied and .specialised coverage. This method of competition is 
healthy so tar as it strives to give better service and news coverage. Merely 
giving the buyer a large number of pages containing news which otherwise 
would have been condensed or eliminated would not increase the standard 
of service, but on the other hand would give an unfair advantage, m competi- 
tion. to those papers which have higher financial resources. We have 
examined this point in detail and we feel that after the withdrawal of price 
page control order in 1952. there has been a marked tendency to increa.se 
Ihe number of pages, particularly noticed in the case of Metropolitan papers 
belonging to combines, chains, groups and multiple units. Though a part 
of the increase appears to be legilimate fas a result of free availability of 
newsprint al lov\'(r prices) most of it appears to be due to the intention 
of using it as a means of competition. It is interesting to find that a Multiple 
Unit paper is printing more pages at Delhi, where competition is keen, than 
at their other centre. Sucli competition has been reported also among’some 
District papers. Competition based on the number of pages is bound to be 
unfavourable to Provincial and District papers which aie small and have 
limited financial resources. We. therefore, think that enforcement of a price 
page schfMiule is necessary to check this tendency which appears to be on 
the increase, so that competition would be confuied to quality of service 
and news coverage than mere quantity of newsprint. 

179. Prize competitions.- -Some papers have used crosswords and simi’ar 
competitions as a means of increasing their circulation. In running suc'a 
competitions initial expenses are heavy and therefore this method is attempt- 
ed only by papers with large financial resources. The large circulations 
obtained by such papers is not useful to the advertiser, as a number of copies 
are purchased only for the sake of the entry coupons, not for reading. 

171. Figures of circulation— the ABC.—Figures of circulation are con- 
Mdered to be of the greatest importance in influencing the advertisers in 
their choice of papers and in their acceptance of the rates quoted. Formerly 
It veas the practice of some newspapers to claim exaggerated figures of 
circulation, and the adxertiser was confused by a series of claims, some of 


A 






6B 


-which were definitely false. Some years l)ack the publishers, advertising: 
agencies and advertisers got together and established a body called the Audit 
Bureau of Circulations which was authorised to issue certificates of circulation 
which all three sectors of the industry agreed to accept as correct. The 
ABC drew up a set of rules to which all publishers who desired to gel 
certificates were required to conform. These rules laid down the nature of 
books of account and records to be maintained by each publisher, the 
procedure to be followed in calculating the circulation, and the method of 
issue of these certificates. The publisher’s auditors were provided with a 
copy of these rules, and their report on what they concluded to be the 
circulation of the paper was forwarded to the ABC. After satisfying them- 
selves that the procedure they had prescribed had been followed and that 
the auditor had not qualified his report by expressing doubt in respect of 
any relevant matter, the ABC would issue to the publisher a certificate 
which he was entitled to quote in support of his claim about the circulation 
of his paper. The ABC also made arrangements for a re-check in those 
cases where the certificate had been challenged by a member, and also carried 
out a routine re-check of one paper after another. These re-checks were 
carried out by auditors nominated by the ABC. 

172. Audit procedure, — The procedure laid down by the ABC makes ijc 
attempt to guard against many of the common practices adopted for faking 
figures of circulation. Some of the rules have been considered by witnessses 
to be harsh, as for instance the one that says that sales of copies will be 
taken into account only if the proceeds are remitted by the news agent to 
the publisher within a prescribed period. There is another which prescribes 
conditions for scrutiny of transactions purporting to relate to purchase of 
newsprint. Judging by some of the evidence placed before us. we would 
consider these and other provisions quite necessary. 

173. In our view, gathered from evidence which we have not always 
been able 1o confirm by a scrutiny of the relevant books of the publishers, 
there is the possibility if not the certainty that in at least one or two instances 
the publishers have managed to secure certificates winch their papers would 
not be entitled to. In one instance, the editor of the newspaper vohinleered 
the information that the actual number of copies primed of their paper 
is only a small fraction of the number foi' wliich they have secured the 
certificates. It appeared to us physically impossible for the particular press, 
with the machinery at their disiiosal, to have turned out the number of 
copies for which they got a certificate, unless they printed it over two eight - 
hour shifts, i.e. unless they started printing one morning the copies for 
distribution the next morning. The books had apparently been entered up 
so as to satisfy the auditors, though the press v/as not equipped to print 
such a large number of copies. 

174. Manipulation of figures. — During periods when a black market in 
newsprint existed, newspapers had two reasons for falsifying their circulation 
figures. They could sell the newsprint in the black market and also boost 
their advertisement revenue. Today the main temptation to inflate the 
figures of circulation would arise only from the increased advertisement 
revenue that the paper might hope for. Three difTei*ent methods of possible 
falsification of circulation data have been reported. The first was the simple 
faking of the print order which apparently had been practised by many 
papers in the past. The second was the faking of the figures in the print 
order adjusted to tally with the sales of newsprint in the black market, part 
of the proceeds from such sales being credited as revenue from circulation. 


Tills too would appear to liave been practised by some newspapers at the 
time when the black market price of new^sprint was three times the controlled 
price or more. The third is the sale of large quantities of printed copies 
as waste-paper for wjapping. This does not require any faking of the print 
order, but can be practised successfully only when the market price of 
ovei'-issues tor wrapping purposes is sufficiently high. 

175. The general question ol fahsification of circulation data was discussed 
wjl h the Audit Bureau of Circulation and their instruct ions to newspapers 
reu! auditors in this I'cgard have also been examined. In order to guard 
against plain faking (.)f figures of circulation, the Audit Bureau have insisted 
that the cash books sliould also be checked as well as the newsprint stocks 
aiui issues. It was reported that one or two leading papers, which had claimed 
\'ery high cii culations, found it ditTicult to explain to the satisfaction of the 
Audit Bureau of Circulation auditors how and where they were able to find 
du' newspriiii lor print iiig the number of eo))ies claimed as sold. We were 
told by the publishers in tlie course of their eviden-'X' that the necessary 
nevvspruil had iK-en purcliased, for some lakfis of rupees, in the market, and 
that payuK'nl iiail been imuie In cash for these purchases. We asked for 
tlu' reasons why such large purchases had to be made locally when these 
p.ipv'!','. usually inii>o]ded their requirement. s. and why payment had to be 
made m cash ins, lead of by cheque wlien lb.e sums iuxoived were so large. 
T.he explanation was that the practice of cxish payments was a carry-o^’er 
fi'orn the days when newsprint was controlled, Ihougli the suggestion was 
tlu'ow'M in liiat there udglit ha\e brtui a desire to evade taxes on tlie iirirt 
of the N'endors of newsiirint. kiKiiuries made' by us of other witnesses 
bi'ought to liglu no e\ddencc of sucli a pi'actice of purchasing for cash, and 
the (.luvermnent of the Slatt.', whicii levies a Sales Tax, could find no evidences 
to suppcjid the |)ossil)ililv of sueii a transaction having taken place. Tne 
Audit Bureau of Circulation ha\'e expressed the hope that because of fee 
chc'cks jirc'scribed by tliem sucli rnotliods of inflating the figures of circuia- 
tiuu ue not likeiy to be attempted hereafter. 

176. Formerly, when the black market price of newsprint was very high, 
some papers are reported to have sold the newsprint in the black market, 
cnlering m fiart (cf the rc'ceipts as realisations by “local sale’* of printed copies 
In Die oi)inion of the Audit. Bineau of Circulation, this method too is not 
■Mkc'ly lo go undetc'cded now in view of the detailed procedure prescribed for 
chc'cking ih.e actual print ordeic This does not sound very convincing, but 
e\'en if we accept the Audit Bureau of Circulation’s assurance on this pomt, 
there still remains the third method, be., of actually printing the copies and 
.selling them as wrapping paper. 

177. Sale as waste-paper,— II is iindei-stood that beeau.se of restrictions on 
flu; import of “over-i.ssues” of newspapers from foreign countries (where 
i-'crliap,.; they lia\c been printed for .similar reasons), the prices ruling in the 
maiket for old new.spapers are quite high, ranging from Rs, 28 to Rs. 30 per 
maund, i.e., Rs. 784 to Rs. 840 per ton. This is equal to, or higher than, 
the piice of tn-wsprinl today .and apparently the market can absorb i|uite 
'arger quantities. The inslruelions of the Audit Bureau of Circulation in 
thi.s re.gard read as follows: — 

"Sale of uewspaper.s as waste-paper, lo inOate circulation figures, is 
not economic tn normal eirenmstanees. But wdien waste-paper 
sells about the basic retail price of the publication less maxi- 
mum eommis.sion and allowances to any agent, a larger number 
of copies may be printed than to meet normal requirements 



65 


Therefore reasons for substantial increase in the Print Order 
as well as in supplies to any agent should be obtained*'. 

^ These instructions caution the auditors against those who would attempt 

sudden inflation of figures but convey no indication of the possibility that 
the figures might be increased gradually, to reach very high figures, or 
maintained stationary while circulation is steadily failing. The position at 
4 present is that the prices for waste-paper are comparable with the nett reali- 

sations from the sale of piapers as would be seen from the figures below which 
have been calculated for 6 and 8 page papers selling at one anna per '“opy, 
and 8-page papers selling at As. lA. 


fABLE No. 1 X 


1 

I 2 


3 

r 

i ^ 

kr 1,000 copies 

5 6 

7 

; '■ 8 

Size of 
paper 

Price 

1 per 

; C(^py 

; Price 

Price 
j to 

Agent 

sales 

vafite 

i 


i WciglU 
i ibs. 

**Salcs 
; as 

Waste- 
paper 

Nett: loss 

1 by sale as 

1 Waste 5 
(ct'l. 5 
' minus 

C(.> 1 . 7) 

(a) 6 pages 

0 10 

i 62 

8 0 1 

1 4t 14 0 

1 37 II 

0 

' 90 

' 33 12 0 

1 3 15 0 

(h) 8 pages 

0 I 0 

62 

8 0 

i 

41 14 0 

' 37 II 

0 

120 ; 

4 S 0 0 : 

1 

750 

(profit) 

(r) 8 pages 

0 T 6 

: 9”^ 

2 0 

62 13 0 

i 5b 0 

6 ; 

120 i 

45 0 o' 

1 11 0 6 


arriving at the nett sales value, commission has been calculated 
only at 33 J per cent, though in practice it is sometimes higher; 
further 10 per cent, has been deducted from the price c*h-irged 
to the agent as the average expenditure on piacking and freight 
both of which arc met by the publisher. 


’‘^^’Calculated at 0-6-0 per lb. retail. 


In the case of the O-page paper selling for one anna which covers a large 
proportion of Indian language circuiation, the realisation b.y sale to readers 
is very little more than the realisation by sale as waste-paper. The position 
. with regard to 8-page papers selling for As. lA is also similar though the loss 

^ is sliglitly higher in. this case. These caleniations are based on a maximum 

. discount of 33 per cent. In the case of papers which allow a higher discount 

the nett sales value would be less and there might be a profit b.y sale as 
waste-paper. 

173. Assuming an average of Rs. 7/3/- difference per 1,000 copies between 
the realisation by sale to readers and to waste-paper merclr:ints an ova^r- 
printing of 10,000 copies per day could mean an annual “loss” of, say, 
Rs. 26,000. This “loss” is. however, only partial where the newspapers is a 
proprietory concern or is owned by a private limited company. It is true 
that the owner may have to pay income-tax on estimated revenue to this 
extent which he may not have really earned, but the loss is limited to the 
amount of tax since the sale of overprint issues as vraste-paper does not 
really result in much loss. Where discounts are higher, there might not be 
any loss at all or even a slight profit. On the other hand, a purported 
18 Mofl&B. 



66 


incrense in circulation of 10,000 copies would normally produce an additional 
advertisement revenue of at least a lakh of rupees per annum. It would 
appear, therefore, that in the present conditions there are very great tempta- 
tions for dishonest publishers to claim inflated circulations by printing more 
copies than they have readers for, and selling the additional copies as waste- 
paper. 

170. It may be useful to explain how the estimate of one lakh of rupees 
per annum as additional revenue from adv'ertisements tor an increase in 
circulation of 10.000 copies per day has been arrived at. The advertisement 
revenue of any established paper depends primarily on two factors- it.s 
circulation and its class of readership. Advertisers offering the general run 
of goods are inclined to the view that there is not much to choose between 
the readership of one paper and another, and it is only in the case of specia- 
lised advertisements that they choose their media for particular reasons of 
roveiagc. As would be seen from the analysis mentioned in para 15:1 the 
average revenue for many English papers is Rs. 47 and for Indian language 
papers is generallv about Rs. 12 per subscriber for all the well established 
papers. Even if other papers which for one reason or another have been 
unsuccessful in building up an advertisement revenue are taken into -‘on- 
.sideration, an average revenue of Rs. 10 per year per subscriber, is not bevond 
the reach of any well-conducted paper. For a purported additional circula- 
tion of 10,000 copies an increase in the advertisement revenue of Rs. 1 lakh 
per year would appear to be a reasonable expectation. 

180. The commercial success of such manipulation of figures, would, how- 
ever. depend upon inflation being practised on a large scale. This is because 
advertisers would not agree to increased rates lor slight increases in the 
circulation. This difference must be substantial, say of the order of 10.000' 
copies or more, in order to enable the publisher to raise his tariffs, or alter- 
natively, to maintain his advertisement rates if circulation is going down. 

181 We ore informed that the Audit Bureau of Circulation has now under- 
taken a re-check of all papers to whom they have issued certificates. We 
are glad that they have taken up this task and hope that they would be able 
to spot instances of fraudulent practices which had escaped notice earlier. 

In our view, the Audit Bureau of Circulation will gain general credence for 
the accuracy of their certificates if they take drastic action against those 
who, to their knowledge, have produced fraudulent figures, by debarring them 
from membership of the Bureau. At present the practice appears to be lo 
retain on the rolls of the Bureau even those members to whom certificates^ 
have been refused, leaving them eligible to apply for certificates for a sub- ^ 
sequent period. This, in our view, greatly weakens the Audit Bureau Circula- 
tion and the exercise of discipline on its members 

182. A very large number of papers are not however members of the 
Audit Bureau of Circulation and generally they depend only upon their own 
unsupported statements to secure advertisements. Their claims of circula- 
tion have by no means been modest. In the case of one paper which quotes 
a figure of over 8,000 for its circulation, the editor told us in evidence that 
only 2,000 copies are circulated. Another paper informed us that they printed 
13,600 copies but sold 6,300 the rest apparently being disposed of as wrapping 
paper. A third paper, which had told the State Government that its circula- 
tion was 2,000, accounted for only 200 copies in its returns submitted to us. 

Such fanciful claims are not confined to dailies. We came across an instance 
of a weekly which claimed a circulation of 5202 but the publisher, after ex- 
nmination, cut the figure to 1575. 


183. Vertification of circulation. — We found that while some State Govern- 
ments go by the Audit Bureau of Circulation certificates where these are 
available, others trust entirely the claims of the publishers or get them con- 
lirmed by the police ! In many cases advertisements are given to the papers 
without an enquiry about the circulation. 

184. We are suggesting elsewhere the appointment of a Press Registrar 
with whom publishers of newspapers have to lile certain factual statements 
periodically. One of these statements should be of the circulation of thp 
paper. The Registrar should, under the Collection of Statistics Act, prescribe 
the form in which the statement is to be hied. Some indication of the data 
to be compiled is given in the Appendix XXIII. State Governments and the 
Central Government should be guided by these statements when piacmg 
advertisements. 

185. Cross-words and other competitions. — In connection with the subject 
of circulation, there is one other aspect that we would like lo examine m 
detail. Newspapers have shown a tendency to adopt certain devices which 
have been tried in other countries also for promoting circulation, by linking 
up, with the purchase of a copy of the paper, eligibility to participate in 
certain benellts. The most common of the methods adopted here is to print, 
in the newspaper, entry forms for competitions. These competitions are 
usually for “solving” cross-word puzzles or similar trials of skill or chance, 
and in most of the instances we have come across, it is the latter element 
that predominates. One publisher told us that the odds against a prize- 
winning solution are sufficient to secur,e him a good return on each competi- 
tion. In many cases particularly in Indian languages, the “solution” consists 
of matching one of tw^o alternative answers, to a number of questions ranging 
from 12 to 20 for each competition. An entrant is not however in the same 
position as the entrant to a football pool, since the “correct” solution does 
not lend itself to vertification by the published results of real matches, but 
has to tally with a solution .selected by those who run the competition. We 
do not wish to go into the question whether such competitions are in the 
nature of lotteries; this would be a matter for the Courts to decide. We 
would like however to express our definite conviction that the publication 
of entry forms in newspapers and periodicals is an un journalistic activity 
and w^e recommend the insertion of a provision, in the act regulating the 
printing and publication of newspapers and periodicals, banning the printing 
of any form of entry to competition or prize schemes. We wmuld also like 
ail such competitions to be banned, but this would be going beyond our 
province. We refer of course to competitions for which an entrance fee is 
charged and where the winners are awarded substantial money prizes. We 
have no objection to the publication of puzzles solely as amusement for the 
reader. Even in the case of purely intellectual amusements, we are aware 
that the payment of a small award adds some zest to the solving, and the 
payment of such awards is made by many periodicals whose journalistic 
standards are high. We would however limit such awards to a maximum of 
Rs. 500 in any one month. These remarks would not of course apply to 
competitions or awards for literary or journalistic material intended for 
publication in the periodical or newspaper, such as competitions for the best 
short story, article, essay or review, or awards for the most outstanding 
achievements in the field of news reporting or interpretation, or the successful 
espousal of public causes. We would in fact approve of such incentives 
being offered by a Central body like the Press Institute, the establishment of 
which we are recommending in Chapter XIX. 


68 


186. Prize schemes and free insurance. — A similar practice which seeks 
to induce the purchase of copies, as distinct from perusal of its contents, is 
the gratit of prizes or awards to the holders of copies bearing certain numbers, 
or the offer to insure all holders of copies against particular forms of acci- 
dents or misadventure. Such offers are not very common in India though they 
have been used successfully in other countries, and we came across only one 
instance, where the publi.shers of a medical journal had offered to insure 
subscribers against awards of damages in suits filed by patients. We con- 
sider all such inducements unjournalistic and would recommend their being 
banned by law. Insurance is a perfectly legitimate activity if carried on 
under the appropriate regulations, but it is not journalism. Where ihe pub- 
lishers enter into an arrangement with an insurance company to cover such 
risks and oiTers the benefit of the cover to those who purchase his paper 
free of additiorud cost, it would be in effect a reduction in the price of the 
paper. We have already said that the minimum price of a paper .should be 
controlled by a price-page schedule and the maximum discount prescribed; 
insurance or gift offers would violate the principle dmderlying this regulation 
of prices. 

187. Price-cutting. — We have come across instances where the publi.'-hed 
price and authorised discount are undercut by the distribution of free copies 
We realise that a paper trying to establish itself would try to convince the 
public of its merits by distributing free copies for some lime. But such 
free distribution should be reasonable in respect of the number of copies 
and the period for which it is distributed to any individual. We would not 
pre.scribe what these should be but would insist that the number of copies 
distributed free to the public should be intimated to the Press Registrar who 
would be at liberty to publish the figures where he considers them excessive. 

188. Price-cutting is also brought about by supplying each newsagent 
with a certain number of free copies which he is at liberty to sell. We 
consider it necessary that where copies are distributed free in order to in- 
troduce a paper to the public, all such copies should be clearly marked “free” 
before being handed over to the newsagent, so that the supply of such free 
copies does not have the effect of increasing his discounts or adding to his 
oroflts. Other inducements held out to newsagents are the supply of cycles 
for the messengers employed to distribute copies, or uniforms for such mes- 
sengers and hawkers. W^e consider that the cost of these should be deducted 
from the discounts payable to the agents. Similarly expenditure hicurred 
on llie freight charges oi] copies should be subject to a.ji upper limit. We 
understand that on an average such expenditure docs not exceed 10 per cent, 
on the nett \aaUie of the papers. We are concerned not merely with averages 
but with maxima also, and would recommend that where delivery diarges 
exceed 16 ptn* cent, all additional charges should be recovered from the agent 
or as a surcharge from the subscribers. In connection with packages sent 

by air, we are recommending in Chapter XI, a maximum range beyond which * 
a surcharge should definitely be levied from the subscriber. Any violation 
of these price-restrictions should be considered an unfair practice and should 
be checked. 

189. Un.sold Retums.—Another way in which publishers try to provide 
special benefits to news agents is by making fairly large allowances for copies 
which could not be sold. In certain cases, the newsagents are permitted 
to sell the copies as waste paper and have only to intimate the number of 
such copies in respect of which credit is required, while in others they have 
to provide some sort of proof, usually the top of the front page, bearing the 



69 


date, torn off and returned in support of their claim. Unless the number 
of returns permitted is fixed at a reasonable percentage of the total sales by 
the newsagent, such a concession would operate as a powerful weapon in 
the hands of large publishers. In this, as in the case of free copies, some 
restriction and uniformity of practice must be established by convention or» 
if this cannot be done, be imposed from outside. 

190 . Unfair practices. — We have come across certain other practices con- 
nected with large scale operation wliicli we consider unfair and undesirable, 
7'he first of these is the insistence by the management that any advertiser 
in the most important paper of a group or chain should book space at the 
same time in their other papers also. Whether pressure is brought to bear 
upon the advertiser indirectly, or whether the management quote a combined 
rate for some or all of their newspapers, this practice is likely to affect 
prejudicially the free development of other newspapers in any of the languages 
in which the group or chain publishes newspapers. It might affect indirect!’'’’ 
even newspapers in other languages, by forcibly diverting to the papers ot 
the group the bulk of the advertising appropriation of the advertisers. 
Another of such unfair practices is to insist that newsagents desirous of 
handling one of the papers of the group should also take a specified number 
or proportion of the other papers published by the group. A variant of this 
is to insist that newsagents handling one paper of a group, say in English, 
shall not handle any Indian language paper from any other publisher, even 
where he is not compelled to take the Indian language papers of the group. 
We recommend, therefore that some provision should be made in the con- 
templated legislation governing newspapers and periodicals, to put a stop 
to such restrictive practices wherever they are attempted. 

191. Economics of newspapers aggregates. — Common ownersh.ip of more 
than one daily newspaper takes the form of combines, chains, multiple units 
and groups which may be defined as follows: 

(1) Multiple Unit i.e. publication of more than one daily of the same 

title and language at diflferent centres under one ownership; 

(2) Groups i.e. publication of more than one daily from the same centre 

under one ownership, in the same language (e.p. morning and 
evening papers under different names) or in more than one 
language; 

(3) Chains i.e. publication of more than one daily under one owner- 

ship from more than one centre. These are only combinations 
of the types mentioned earlier; 

(4) Combines. These are in essence Chains, Groups or Multiple Units 

but the units appear outwardly as different concerns. 

The economies that are possible in group operation are in the following 
directions (vide Appendix XXIV). 

(1) Fixed Assets. — The main capital investment in the case of newspaper 
operation is on equipment and buildings. These absorb a major portion of 
the long-term capital and considerable savings in the total requirements can 
be effected where more than one paper is published at the same place. Esti- 
mates of the machinery and equipment required for an English paper, and 
for an Indian language paper run in conjunction therewith, are given in 
Appendix V. The investment in the first case is 18 lakhs. The additional 
investment required in the second case is less than two lakhs. 


(2) Establishment. — The publication of a paper in one language along 
with a paper in another language would call for additional staff for transla- 
tion and for leader-writing in the editorial section, some additional payment 
in respect of correspondents, additional staff in the composing room and a 
slight increase in the managerial staff’. There would be no increase in the 
foundry, printing or supervisory staff in the despatch section. In the most 
favourable circumstances the the economies may amount to 75 per cent, of 
the requirements of the second paper. 

(3) Material. — There would be no saving because of group operation in 
the quantity of material used such as newsprint etc., but there is some 
saving consequent on combined purchase in large quantities particularly in 
the case of newsprint. 

(4) General overheads. — No additional general expenses would be involv- 
ed because of an increase in a number of papers published from the same 
office. Even in the case of distributing agents it is usual to employ the same 
persons to handle all the papers issued from the publishing house and so no 
increase is caused in the volume of correspondence to be handled, unless the 
papers are sold in quite different parts of the country, when there would be 
an increase in the nulmber of agents.^ 

192. The extent to which these economies are realised varies from one 
paper to another. One group at Madras has been able to achieve what we 
consider the maximum of savings possible from group operation while another 
at Lucknow has perhaps realised only the minimum. 

193. The position with regard to multiple editions of a paper published 
from more than one centre is somewhat different. In other countries, multi- 
ple editions are undertaken purely in order to save time and freight in the 
distribution of printed copies, and each edition is only a reprint of the other. 
The practice in India is to maintain editorial offices at each centre where 
the paper is printed. In effect, these multiple editions are not reprints of 
the first. Only part of the material required to make up the paper is receix^d 
from the main office by teleprinter or in the form of flongs or lithoplates. 
Some of the pages are made up from news reports received at the local office, 
aiTd occasionally editorials are prepared there. The economies possible by 
the publication of multiple editions is not very great even where the editorial 
supervision is not decentralised, and the main saving is one of time and 
freight. Where however additional editorial offices are maintained tor each 
edition, the economies are reduced further. These economies, however, are 
only in respect of operating costs. Capital investment has to be made afresh 
for each centre from which publication is started. There is, in consequence, 
no saving in interest, depreciation, and other overhead charges. Moreover, 
the entire composing room, foundry, and printing room staff’ have to be 
employed at each centre, 

194. The main economic incentive for starting such editions has been the 
hope of capitalising on the goodwill of the parent edition and acquiring a 
circulation with the minimum of preliminary losses during the earlier periods. 
It is also the expectation of the publishers that they would be able to secu’jre 
an immediate advertisement revenue for the local edition by repeating the 
advertisements that had been booked for the original edition and charging 
the advertisers additionally for this purpose, 

195. In the case of chains, there are no direct economies conseciuent on 
the fact of common ownership. Where the chain is made up of a number 
of groups, the economic advantages of group operation are added on to what- 
ever little advantage follows from multiple editions. 


196. In the case of combines, local advantages that result from group 
operation do exist, but no further economic gains result from the fact c^f 
common ownership. If, however, one of the units of the eumbinos is \t-iy 
influential it may be able to direct a small amount of advertisements to aiiother 
unit, though this possibility is rather remote. 

197. Because of such advantages as are implicit in sucli combined opera- 
tion (in groups, multiple units or chains) it has been possible for a number 
of new papers to come up. Many Ind an language papers have been founded 
on the economic support ofiered by a well established paper in BngUsi' or 
in another Indian langufige. Multiple editions, newly slaived, have depended 
for financial support on the parent edition. It must, howevana be menliojied 
in this connection that a consequence of such combined operation is that 
taxes are assessed only on the re.sultant profits and not on the individual 
profits of each paper. While this has made it possible to find money to cover 
the los.ses of new papers from out of profits a large portion of which might 
otherwise have been paid to the exchequer as ta.x.es, it has appaienily made 
the managements less cautious in their assessment of prospects before start- 
ing new papers or new editions. 

198. Drawbacks of groups and multiple units.— There have been other 
drawbacks too in group and multiple unit operations. In the case of groups, 
all the papers are operated as one unit and if one of them is profitable while 
another is losing, the employees would be able to claim a bonus only on the 
basis of the combined results. We found that none of the groups operating 
in this country maintains separate accounts for each paper and h has, there- 
fore, been very difficult for us to ascertain the extent to which a successful 
paper subsidises another not so profitable. The employees also would find 
the same difficulty. In the case of multiple editions, it has been held by a 
Labour Tribunal that the profits and losses of all editions must be considered 
together before arriving at the nett figure on which bonus could be based. 
Since these multiple editions are widely separated, it is not possible for the 
employees at one place to have any idea of possible managerial extravagance 
at another, and they only see their bonuses whittled down because of losses 
at a remote centre. In this respect, the position is difierent from that of a 
group where all the units are situated at the same place and further share 
the same management, efficient or otherwise. 

199. In the case of group operation, the main economies are achieved by 
more effective utilisation of the capital equipment and of a substantial part 
of the staff. For this purpose the attempt is made to secure increased reader- 
ship from as wide a circle as possible by publishing papers in more than one 
of the languages locally understood. In the case of multiple editions, the 
attempt is to look for additional readership in other parts of the country and 
to exploit the direct and indirect benefits of association with the parent 
papers. We have discussed elsewhere certain practices which are aimed at 
securing an unfair advantage to papers which are in a position to benefit 
by these economies and we have also suggested measuies for eliminating 
such unfair competition. Later in this chapter, we have recommended the 
adoption of a price page schedule which would restrain newspapers which 
are in an advantageous position, whether because of group or multiple opera- 
tion or because of their financial resources, from utilising this advantage in 
competing with other papers on unequal terms. There remains to be coiv 
sidered only the handicap placed on the employees by such combined opera 
tion. 


200. We have found that when starting multiple editions, the publishers- 
sometimes have not made that careful assessment of the soundness of the 
venture which we expect they would have made if they had to bear the 
resulting loss instead of being able to set it off against profits before taxes. 
This tendency to convert current taxable profits into untaxed long-term 
investments exists perhaps in other industries also, but we found from suich 
data as were available that in the majority of cases of multiple editions, the 
parent unit has continuously had to absorb losses incurred at the subsidiary 
centres. While therefore such editions may have added to the number of 
papers published at the newer centres, they certainly have not resulted in an 
overall increase in the return to the owners, nor have they added to the bonus 
earned by the employees. In the case of group papers, it has not been easy 
for us to decide whether one of the papers is remunerative by itself, but as 
we have pointed out, each additional paper added to the first one has taken 
advantage of existing resources so that it would be justifiable to estimate 
its cost of production at a very much lower figure than the average. On 
this basis, where a group is remunerative we may go to the extent of assum- 
ing thcd the individual papers may also be. 

201. Separation of accounts. — We woiKld like, if it were possible, that 
every paper should be constituted as a separate unit so that its profits and 
losses are definitely ascertainable and both the proprietor and the employees 
know where they stand. In the course of our examination, we have found 
that such separation of the capital, revenue and expenditure of clifiereni 
papers would be difficult in the case of groups. Such difficulty would not 
arise in the case of multiple units. In connection with the question of unfair 
practices, we have already recommended that advertisements should be book- 
ed separately for each edition, agency services are already paid for separately, 
and the staff engaged for the paper would also be easy to identify. Fixed 
assets engaged on the production of each of the multiple editions wculd 
also be easily separable from those of another edition. We therefore recom- 
mend that in the case of multiple editions, each unit should be separated 
from the others in the matter of accounts. Where a chain consists of a number 
of groups, each group would be separated from the other. 

202. Inside the group itself, it may be difficult to make a divi.sion of capital 
investment and of certain categories of expenditure. We recommend, how- 
ever, that the revenue account should be maintained separately and that 
cost accounts should be maintained in respect of production of eaih of the 
papers of the group. This would enable a fair estimate being made of the 
profit or loss earned or incurred on the publication of each of the papers of 
the group, even if the allocation of certain common costs has to be made on 
a rough and ready basis. This system of book-keeping should invariably be 
adopted wherever the management find it inconvenient to divide the group 
into its component units. 

203. Future expansion. — We realise that we must envisage the expansion 
of some of our Metropolitan papers to provide a national or continental 
coverage or the establishment of papers by national or political parties to 
co/er the whole country. We would emphasise, however, that in all these 
cases, the principles we have enunciated above should always be kept in 
mind. We would also emphasise that while new editions are being started 
of existing papers, the requisite capital should be found separately instead 
of v^eakening the existing papers by saddling them with the inevitable losses 
during the initial stages of the new edition. If, however, the parent papers 
have made adequate provisions for replacement costs and other necessary 



73 


s 


reserves and are paying their staff reasonable salaries and wages, then there 
could be no objection to their using the funds obtained from the profats of 
the parent papers for starting multiple editions in other parts of the country. 

204 The recommendations above are concerned mainly with the economic 
aspects of aggregates of newspapers. The effect of concentration of reader- 
ship in the hands of one owner or group of owners is being dealt with 
separately in Chapter XIV. Such concentrations are brought about not 
merely bv chains, groups and multiple units, but also by combines, where 
even though each unit is separately incorporated, the fact of common 
shareholding places in the hands of owners a concentration of readership. 

“>05 Price-page Schedules.— The earlier discussion of the economics of a 
newspaper has brought out the fact that as matters stand at present a 
paper with a large circulation because of its lower cost of production per 
copy enjoys certain advantages over other papers with smaller circulation. 
Similarly, a paper with large capital resources behind it is free from certain 
ha'idi( aps which affect another paper with limited capital. Papers of long 
standing which have been able to build up a large and stable volume of ad- 
vertisement revenue are in a very advantageous position as compared to 
othei^ who have just entered the field. It is true that such economic ad- 
vantages and hadicaps exist in a number of industries but their presence in 
the newspaper industry is not, in our opinion, conducive to the even and 
healthy development of the press. Newspapers serve as media for the free 
exchange of information and of ideas. The proper functioning of demociacy 
requires that every individual should have equal opportunity, in so far as this 
can he achieved, to put forward his opinions. We consider it therefore 
essential that measures should be adopted to reduce the differences due to 
economic advantages or other causes, and to enable newcomers to start 
with a fair chance of achieving succe.ss. After examining various schemes 
that have been put forward for this purpose, we feel that to fix a minimum 
price at which papers of a particular size can be sold would be the most 
effective measure to bring about this end. This would no doubt have to 
be supported by the other measures that we have recommended regarding 
unfair practices in the industry. 

2(16. Previous price-page schedules have been drawn up with different 
aims Some have intended to reduce consumption of newsprint and therefore 
set also a maximum limit to the number of pages that could be^ printed. 
Others achieved the same purpose indirectly by setting such a high Piy® 
that the market was “rationed by price”; circulations were prevented 
from -owing by the high prices that had been fixed, and thus consumption 
of newsprint was restricted. We have made it clear that it is not our in- 
tention that the amount of news and views that are placed before tne public 
should be restricted in any way either by fixing very high price.s or by set- 
thv” a maximum limit on the consumption of paper. We would consider 
it a hcalthv development if the amount of newsprint consumed m this 
counirv grew rapidly with the purchasing power of the people and that 
there was in consequence a freer flow of information. 

207. We are convinced, that though ultimately it is the readers who pay 
the net cost of the paper, partly as its price and partly through the adver- 
tised goods that they purchase, a reasonable revenue from advertisements 
has the effect of distributing the burden more equitably between those who 
teve money to spend and those who have not, while a high selling price 
would place the burden uniformly on all. 


74 


208. The publisher of a newspaper realises .^J^^.f^VrpacT'in" It 

that we have mentioned, the sale of the paper and the sale of spate in ii 
for advertisements. The reader contributes the first directly and to 
second indirectly. There is, however, a third factor involved and that is 
the resale price of the copy as waste paper. As we have discussed earlier 
in this chapter, the price of waste paper is very high in this country is 
comparable to the nett sales realisation, or in other words it is more than 
half the price that the reader pays for each copy. An excessive number of 
pages in each issue would have the effect of reducing the price of the paper 
to the reader, and is therefore used by the publisher as a means of competing 
with other papers. This too is a point which has to be kept in mind when 
deciding whether a schedule that is proposed is equitaole and would eli- 
minate substantially the effect of such competition. 


209. On the other hand, we have to keep in mind the fact that the next 
few years would be a period of endeavour and constructive activity rather 
than’ one of boom and high prosperity. With the growing unemployment 
particularly among the middle classes to whom the newspapers look ioi 
the bulk of their readership, a tendency to shrinkage in circulation might 
well be expected. Too high a price would have a doubly unwelcome cllect 
on the fortunes of the Press. Circulations would fall directly and as a con- 
sequence of such fall, advertisement revenues would also shrink. This would 
force papers to reduce the quality of their services and the cumulative effect 
may welt be disastrous. 

210 While on the question of the fair value given to the reader, we would 
like to record our opinion that the schedule should not, like many past 
schedules, prescribe only the maximum number of pages that could be sold 
at a particular price, but also the minimum number that must be ottered. 
This safeguard for the interests of the reader had not always been consider- 
ed necessary in the past, but in view of what we have said earlier, we feel 
it should be clearly specified. We have stated elsewhere that in our view 
the quantum of advertisement in, say, a week’s issue of a newspapers should 
not exceed 40 per cent, of the total area and we feel that this requirement 
should be made part of the schedule, which will thus prescribe (a) the 
maximum number of pages that could be sold for the price, (b) the mini- 
mum number of pages that must be offered for the price, (c) the minimum 
of news and editorial matter that each issue must contain. 


211. In the evidence that has been placed before us. there has naturally 
been considerable divergence of opinion regarding the imposition of a price- 
page schedule. The division of opinion has not been according to the size 
of the paper or its standing. The proposal has been opposed by many large 
papers and supported by at least one of them. Similarly, while many 
small papers have welcomed the idea, and the Indian Language Newspapers 
Association has strongly supported it, there has been opposition fiom this 
group also. Not all the arguments in favour or against were based on 
the principles underlying the proposal. Some were based on the experien- 
ce of the working of the old schedules, the prices of newsprint then and 
at the time of our inquiry, and even on some local factors. In order to bring 
about an increase in the number of newspapers in this country, an increase 
which we consider very essential, and in order to provide the circumstan- 
ces in which freedom of opinion can be very much more real than it is 
today, a price-page schedule appears to be a necessity. 



76 


212. We are suggesting a price page schedule which would 
mum price at which papers of a specified number of pages could 

Such a schedule would make no distinction between a paper 
Ihicht oo.tly to produce and another which Is .e.,. ^ 

our examination of 30 newspapers, large and small m English and ^ I* ^ 
languages, representing a combined circulation of B.-O lakhs dai y, 
that excluding newsprint the average cost of production of English 

newspaper was 3.3 pies per page while the average of Production 

the Indian language newspaper was 1.9 pies per page. Adding le c is 
newsprint at Rs. 840 per ton, (which is roughly the p ^ 

total cost of an Indian language newspaper would come to ^ P" P**! , 

while the corresponding figure for an English newspaper would come to 4 4 
Dies per page Assuming that the average Indian language paper consists 
of four pages daily, and the average English paper ol 

the total cost of production of the Indian language newspaper would b. 

12 0 pies and of the English newspaper 35.2 pies. The average revenue that 
•c^n be legitimately expected in these two ca,ses from ^^-rtis^en s would 

be round about Rs. 10/- per year per copy in the ' JL® efs 

newspaper and Rs. 40/- per year per copy in the case of English newspaper 
A selling price of one anna per copy in the case ot a four page Indian la 
guage paper and of two annas in the case of an eight page English pap ^ 
would, alter deduction of agency discount leave 8 P‘es and 16 P’®® 
lively as net revenue per copy which together with the revenue of 5 pies 
and 20 pies from advertisements would cover the cost of production. A 
price page schedule based on a price of 3 pies per page of ^^ndard 
niay prove adequate to meet all costs of production in the case of Indian 
language and English papers. 

213 Our recommendation with respect to remuneration of working 

iouSaliSs would no doubt add to the cost of P^/T^Dies pe 
Indian language newspapers, out of a total cost of 1.9 pies per page, tne 
salaries to^wofking journalists including editors as well as the payment to 
Sw iencir together came to 0-45 pies. Roughly 1/3 of this amount re- 
presents payment to news agencies and to correspondents paid staff ’comS 
basis The expenditure on working journalists employed on the staff comes 
tkerefore to 0 3 pies per page. Even assuming that our recommendations 
result in an overall increase of 35 per cent, in this expenditure the total 
hwease in the cost of production of the paper will be only 0.42 pies per 
copy of 4 pages and 0.84 pies per copy of 8 pages. The calculations earlier 
shol that this too can be fairly covered on the basis of 4 pages for an anna. 

214. On the basis of the circulation in 1952, and on the basis of the 
K ni of each newspaper in that year, the increase in ciicula 

?r rcveirwcald S o< tL ',ler oi H., 90 lakh. Clrculallo.., have 
irown since then, and o»lng to the removal ot ““‘cols in Septemhe. . 
the number of pages has also increased m most cases, so that at present 
levelsTSn greatfr increase may be expected. On the other hand circula- 
tions are likely to fall when the prices of newspapers are raised or if t 
tmns aie y reduced, though there is reason to hope that the re- 

^n thP latter rase may be less. Other variables are the expenditure 
ornewsprim Ind r.nSnrto^ advortisomonts, both ol »hi=h ».„ld h. 
A ^ Vif nn fhp rirculation as well as the size of the papei. Even assum 
inrthat the net increase in circulation revenue is much less than the maxi- 
mum we expect it would very much improve the financial position of tha 
papek. It will help struggling units to stabilise their economy and new 
units to cut down their initial losses 


76 


215. The Indian Language Newspapers’ Association had put forward a 
schedule based on an average of 3-1/3 pages for an anna. We are unable to 
accept the schedule because we feel that at the present cost of newprint, 
the prices suggested were on the high side and further it made no provision 
for the minimum number of pages or for the minimum quantity of reading 
matter. 

216. Sri A. R. Bhat has worked out a tentative schedule which lays 
down the number of pages for six-day newspapers of standard size. The 
schedule is reproduced below, and a note from him explaining the implica- 
tions of the schedule is included. 

Table No. X 

Six-day papers of standard size 


Number of pages per week 



Retail price per copy 


! Maximum 

1 total 

! 

i 

1 

j Minimum 

1 total 

i 

1 

1 

1 

Minimum 

matter 

excluding 

advertise- 

ments 

O-I-O 



r 

. ; 24 

! 1 

’ 20 

15 

0^1-3 



30 

1 24 

18 

0-1-6 



• 1 36 

! 28 

22 

0-2-0 



. ; 48 

38 

28 

0-2-6 



. : 60 1 

48 ! 

36 


While this is not to be taken as specific recommendation of the Commission, 
we feel that this could form the basis on which a suitable schedule could be 
worked out. Such a schedule will have to take into consideration the prices 
of newsprint as well as probable trends therein over a period of, say, six 
months, from the date it comes into force. The schedule would have to be 
worked out in detail to cover newspapers of different sizes, as well as 7-day 
papers and Sunday papers. We would recommend that the Act to regulate 
the newspaper industry should empower government to issue such sche- 
duWs from time to time and each schedule should be drawn up in consulta- 
tion with the people concerned. 


Note by Sri A. R. Bhat 

The schedule which finds place in the body of the report should be con- 
sidered with reference to the following points: — 

Price of newsprint. — The schedule has been drawn up on the basis of 
newsprint at a price of roughly £.57 per ton c.i.f. Indian ports, which is ap- 
proximately the price ruling today. Based on this price of newsprint and 
the average cost of production, the schedule specifies the maximum number 
of pages for different retail prices. Any increase in the cost of newsprint 
would call for a revision of the schedule. Further, in the case of those 
papers whose cost of production is higher than the average calculated in 
the report, benefits from the price-page schedule will start to accrue only 
If the price of newsprint falls. An increase in the number of pages should, 
therefore, be permitted only if the price of newsprint falls by more than 
per cent. This would cover the cases of newspapers, particularly the 



77 


small ones, whose cost of production are up to 15 per 
the calculated average. The schedule should be fixed preferably in Decem- 
ber of each year and be made applicable to the next calendar year. 

Si^e of paper.-Former schedules ^ided newsp^ 

STthT'eSiflcStoS of" .fow/pVr boc.uoc the oizo ol Uo papoo .a o<U 
should be decided by the Press Registrar. 

Financial burden of ^^commendations -Generahyj^^ ^'and”'other 

bene«s1s''l!ker™eaf‘morc heavity on Indian language newspapei^ 
because at present the salaries paid to the staff are in many cases much 
lower than the minima prescribed. In addition to raising ot tie minimum 
.salaries paid, a certain amount ol increase wil also have to U, made 
correspondingly in the salaries paid to senior member.s ol the staff l u.th , 
some of the benefits recommended will have to be extended to .>h 1 

mnployed in the pres.s. The main relief to the smaller newspapers would 
depmid on acceptance of the recommendations in regard to nevs agencj 

tariffs. 

Cost of production in smaller papers.— As a result of the recommenda- 
tions the cost of production of small papons, particularly those m the Indian 
languages, would be higher than the average even after allowing foi Oie 
savings in news agency, sub.scription.s. A statement is attached estimating 
the cost of production of a small newspapers of 11,000 circulalion whicli 
sho'vs that excluding newsprint the cost of production would be J’b pies per 
page a.s against the average of 7-6 pies. Such small and medium size papers 
are playing a very important role today. They arc offering a choice to the 
reader thereby making monopolies in circulation difficult. It is essential 
in th^ir interest that no increase should be permitted in the number of pages 
beyond Ihose suggthed in the tentative schedule unless the cost of news- 
print falls substantially, as mentioned above. 

Ejfect on circnlaiion.— It is difficult to predict the likely ^ 

nrice-nace schedule on the circulations of newspapers. It has been ob- 
served that the introduction of the schedule effies not have the same effi^ct 
on all the newspapers. The price policy which a paper adopts would 
a material effect on the circulation. If newsjDapers increase their selling 
Drice generally speaking this would cause a ffiil m their circulation, but it 
?an be^ argued^ with much force that if the papers would not increase die 
retail prices but restrict the number of pages there would hardly be any 
on- tern adveik^ e.fTects on their circulation. Many papers which increas- 
ed their prices at the time when a price-page schedule was introduced in 
Anril 1951 su(Tered setbacks in circulation and have not rccovcicd even 
when tL schedule was liberalised a year later and withdrawn in Septem- 
ber 1952 On the other hand, some papers which kept their puce;:, at the 

^ile^el but'^uced the number of " l“''d^^^ 

able to maintain their circulations more or less at the same level 
that period and have subsequently increased their circulation. It mav be 
said that as a result of the schedule, newspapers would become mordmately 
thin Such a fear is unjustified. Under the schedule, a paper selling at 
O-Le can print on an average 60 pages per week of sax days as against only 
50 pages which they were permitted in the April 19ol schedule. 

An examination of the number of pages in newspapers publisluid in the 
United kingdom, France, Switzerland, Western Germany and 
that though there are variations between one country and anothei, the 
.average size is not very large. 


78 


Cost of Production in a small newspaper 

(Circulation 11,000, four-page Indian language, 6 issues per week) 
{vide Appendix XVIII) 

Establishment Monthly 

expenses 

Rs. 

Editorial staff i,6oo 

Managerial staff 

Menial staff' 44® 

Totai 3^540 

Add 33% of the above for covering casual Icave^ privilege leave, sick leave, 

employers* contribution to the Provident Fund and provision for gratuity . i,i8o 

Services and contingencies ......... 4>335 

Composing and printing charges ........ 5,ooo 

Total excluding cost of newsprint ....... I4>055 

Cost per issue of 4 pages . ...... 9*8 pics. 



CHAPTER V 


ADVERTISEMENTS 

>17 Revenue of newspapers and periodicals.— We have referred eaihei 
to the extent to which the daily newspaper today depends on advertise- 
nenfrevenue and the part that such revenue plays in the hnancial 
Sruetu'e of a newspaper. In our estimate of the revenue ot the darly 
in Chapter III, we have come to the conclusion that the total of 
adv^’tisement revenue comes to Rs. 5 crores per annum For reasons 
mentioned in that Chapter, it has not been possible for us to estimate the 
corresponding figure for weeklies and other periodicals. From an 
analysis of the returns submitted by about 30 major advertising agencies, 
we find that the bu.siness that they place with daily newspapers is ab^t 
three times the busine.ss they place with weeklies and Periodicals. We 
do not, therefore, expect that the total value of advertisemen s p ace 
periodicals would exceed Rs. 2 crores. In other countries, the volume of 
advertisement in magazines and journals works out at » much highei 
ratio. We have discussed in Chapter II certain reasons for the present 
lo'.v level of advertisement revenue of periodicals. We expect that with 
the development of publication of periodicals in this country, their 
advertisement revenue would also expand. 

'>18 Sources of revenue.— It was not possible for us to analyse the 
volume of all advertisements placed by different sections of trade and 
industry and by other advertisers. We have, however, analysed the 
business placed in 1951 by 34 advertising agencies, (whose total turnover 
wa^ Rs 2 26 lakhs in that year) according to the different sources of 
advertisements, and the volume of advertising addressed to individual 
consumers generally as well as that addressed to particular sections of the 
nui'iic in respect of goods and services in which the average reader may 
not be interested. Taking such a general classification, we find that out 
of the total, more than three-fourths was in the nature of genera 
consumer advertising. The figures are given in Table I below: 

Table I 

Volume of advertisement in different sectors 


(34 Advertising Agencies) 

1. General Consumer Advertising 

2. Specialised Advertising 

3. Government and Institutional Advertisements 

Total 


Rs. (thousands) 
. . 1,71,83 

42,63 
11,41 


2.25,87 


79 


80 


A further classification of the advertisement coming from Government 
and institutions provided the following information: 

Government and institutional advertising 

(34 Advertising Agencies) 

Rs. (ill oil sands) 


1. Government Advertisements . . . . , . 4,58 

2. Commercial and Industrial . . . . . . 4,88 

3. Educational and Social . , . . . . 1,95 


Total .. 11,41 


219, Consumer Advertising-.— An analysis of total volume of general 
advertising addressed to the consumer indicated that they could be classi- 
fied under 15 major groups as in Table II below: 


Table II 


General consumer advertising 
134 Advertising Agencies) 


Rs. 

1. Cosmetics, Soap, Shaving accessories, hair oils etc. 

2. Drugs, proprietary medicines, medical appliances etc. 

3. Motor tyres and accessories, petroleum products, 

automobiles, batteries etc. 

4. Food products, biscuits, chocolate, drinks, preserves etc 

5. Refrigerators, Washing Machines, domestic air condi- 

tioning equipment, fans, radio sets, cameras, photo 
films, electric bulbs, hashlights and batteries etc, 

6. Transport, airlines, resorts, travel etc. 

7. Watches and clocks, jewellery, typewriters, dupli- 

cators, turniture, floor coverings, carpets etc. 

8. Insurance and Banking 

9. Cigarettes, tobacco etc. 

10. Textiles, ready-made clothing, dress auxiliaries, 

footwear etc. 

11. Automobiles 

12 Entertainment, films, theatre, sports, gramophone, 
records, playing cards etc. 

13. Books, stationery, pens etc. 

14. Insecticides and sundry household articles 

15. Hotels, restaurants, hair dressers, photographers, etc. 


(thousands) 

35,41 

32,74 


19,52 

19,01 


12,10 

9.62 

7,69 

7,36 

6.52 

5,55 

5,22 

4,83 

3,80 

2,13 

33 


1,71.83 


Total 



220. Specialised advertising.— Similarly, the advertisements addressed 
to sections of the population were classified as in III below; — 

Table III 


Specialised Advertising 


(34 Advertising Agencies) 


l\s. {ikon sands) 


1. Inclustrial machinery and equipment, trucks, trailers 

contractors’ equipment, etc. 

2. Agidcultural machinery, tractors, oil engines, pumps 

and implements 

3. Electrical machinery, building material, cement, 

paints, etc. 

4. Industrial stores and materials 

5. Shipping and handling services 

(). Dockyard services and industrial services, repairs to 
machinery etc. 

7. x'Vgricultural fertilizers and aggacuitural seeds and 

products 

8. Railway stores and railway equipment 


14.82 

9,40 


9,50 

5,09 

2,39 

37 


35 

5 


Total . . 42,03 


Though the above analysis is of the turnover of only 34 advertising 
agencies, the proportion of different types of advertisements in the 
consumer category handled by other agencies also is expected to be roughly 
the same. In the case of institutional advertisements and of specialised 
advertising, it may be presumed that the bulk of advertising is liandled 
by the major agencies whose turnover has been analysed. It is, theiefore, 
our estimate that the total volume of consumer advertising handled by 
advertising agencies would amount to about 2^, crores and the share of 
different categories of products would be roughly in the same proportion 
as in the consumer advertising of 1*} crores already analysed. This does 
not, however, include small or classified advertisements placed directly 

with the newspapers. 

221. Character of advertising.— Taking the total volume of consumer 
adve^rtising, it will be seen that quite a large proportion is of items which 
would appeal only to those who are comparatively well-to-do. The 

advertisements of automobiles and accessories, refrigerators, washing 
machines, etc., watches, clocks and jewellery, transport, airlines, come to 
nearly one-third of the total. This, in our opinion, is an unsatisfactory 
position, as it has the effect of diverting the bulk of advertisements to 

the costlier papers in the English language, which reputedly circulate 

among such classes of consumers. No doubt some of the trades and 
industries as are concerned with cosmetics, drugs, proprietary medicines, 
etc. are highly competitive and this fact has been reflected in the 
analysis. On the other hand, textiles are very little advertised even 
though they form a very sizeable proportion of household budgets. 

18 Mofl&B. 



82 


222. In the specialised adveirtisements, the volume of advertising 
relating to agricultural machinery and implements would seem to be a 
fair proportion of the turnover in view of the drive for more agricultural 
production, but that relating to fertilisers and seeds appear to be insigni- 
ficant, probably because these commodities are largely handled or control- 
led by Government. Taking a general survey, it would appear that the 
number of products advertised are such as are consumed mainly in urban 
areas. This undoubtedly tends to favour papers published in metropolitan 
and provincial centres as against district papers. 

223. Advertisements placed direct. — Certain advertisements such as 
those about accommodation to let, or sought, situations vacant, personal 
elTects available for sale, offers of real estate or loans, etc. are responsible 
for a large proportion of a newspaper's revenues, and they are placed 
]r\ the form of “classified” advertisements which are not handled through 
agencies and are not, therefore, represented in the above analysis. More- 
over, film advertisements, particularly those placed by the cinema houses, 
are also given directly to the newspapers and find no place in the analysis 
above. 

224. Scope for expansion. — We feel that potentialities exist for expan- 

sion of advertisement volume in our country. At present food grains and 
food products form a very large slice of our household budgets. The 
statistics collected by the National Sample Survey (General Report No. 1, 
page 17) would indicate that in rural areas this item forms 2/3 of the 
total budget. In the urban ar(‘as we expect the proportion to be less. 
It would be seen that except for a limited number of items such as 
biscuits, chocolates, drink, etc. the bulk of food products are not adver- 
tised. Thus only a small xiortion of the average consumer’s budget 
consists of items whose sale is supported by advertisemenis. With an 

increase in the general standard of living which we expect as a result 

of Five-Year Plan the non-food part of the budget is likely to expand to 
a greater extent than the food part. As a result we may expect an 
increase in the general advertisement volume with a general rise in the 
sliandard of living. The expansion of trade and industry would also 

increase the amount of specialised advertising. We also expect an expan- 

sion in the range of products advertised, with the growing pace of 
industrialization. To some extent, this would be linked with the switch- 
over from a seller’s to a buyer’s market. There are some products where 
at present no efforts in sales promotion by way of advertisement is 
needed, but in a competitive market, advertising would be necessary. 
Textiles would appear to be one of such products. Further, with the 
improvement in the standard of living, a number of products which at 
present have no appreciable market in rural areas would find scope in 
such areas and the volume of advertising in respect of such products 
would expand. 

225- It would be difficult to forecast whether the expected increase in adver- 
tisement volume will be able to keep pace with the expected increase in the 
number and circulation of newspapers and periodicals in the not too distant 
future. Much depends on the economic conditions that would then prevail. 
However, the possibility of the advertising volume not keeping pace with the 
growth of the Press cannot be ruled out, and the advertisement revenue per 
copy of newspaper sold may decline. There would, however, be a compensat- 
ing factor in the economy of newspapers in that the increase in circulation 


S3 


-would bring down the cost of production. As far as the district Press is con- 
cerned, we feel that there is scope, even at present, of increasing the volume 
,of classified advertisements, as well as the advertisements of local traders and 
manufacturers who do not appear to have fully appreciated the utility o 
.advertisements in sales promotion. 


226. Advertisement tariffs. — We have examined in the (‘ase o\ a numbei 
of p^apers the tarilTs for advertisements {vUe Appendix XXV). Of the 
different tariffs quoted for the several edasses of advertisements, the contract 
rates of display advertisement, with which most of the National advertisers 
are concerned,^ are compared, for different papers, m Table IV below. As 
the rates depend on circulation, it is customary for the purposes of compari- 
son to take the rates per 1,000 copies or in other words the rales per mille 
which are given in the Table. It would be seen that the rates per mille of 
Indian language papers are definitely lower than those of English language 
papers. The papers having high circulations have low rates, and the rate in- 
creases as we go to papers in the lower circulation latiges. 


Table IV 


Display Advertise rneni Rates 
(per column-inch per mille) 


Circula- 

tion 

Over 

35,000 

I 


Circula- 

tion 

15 — 

35,000 

2 


Circula- 

tion 

5— 

15,000 

3 


Circula- 

tion 

below 

5,000 

4 


Metropolitan papers: 

English (High) 

English (Low) 

Indian languages (High) 
Indian languages (Low) 

Papers from State Capitals : 
English (High) 

English (Low) . 

Indian languages (High) 
Indian languages (Low) 

Papers from other centres : 
English (High) 

English (Low) 

Indian languages (High) 
Indian languages (Low) 


0 

4 

II 

0 

5 

6 

I 

I 

8 

I 

1 

9 

0 

3 

6 

0 

4 

3 

0 

6 

6 

0 

12 

8 

0 

3 

0 

0 

6 

3 

0 

12 

0 

I 

9 

I 

0 

2 

6 

0 

3 

4 

0 

4 

3 

0 

8 

II 


0 

4 

I 

0 

15 

3 

7 

9 

3 




0 

7 

I 

0 

5 

0 

0 

3 

6 

0 

6 

I 

I 

6 

4 

0 

I 

6 

0 

4 

3 

0 

9 

3 


0 

7 

5 

0 

13 

9 

I 

7 

I 




0 

10 

3 

.{ 

4 

10 

0 

3 

5 

0 

8 

11 

I 

8 

4 

0 

2 

II 

0 

2 

3 

0 

3 

II 


2‘>7 Disparities in tariffs.— The advertisement tarills (iopend on a larije 
number of factors. They would depend on the type of readers and their 
purchasing power. The papers priced higher can generally be as.sumed to reach 
readers with a higher purchasing power. This appears to be the mam reason 
why English papers can and do charge higher rates than Indian language 
papers Similarly the papers circulating in a well-to-do class or merchant 
community can charge higher rates than the others. It can be assumed 
that in general the readers in the metropolitan towns and big cities would 
have more purchasing power than those in rural areas or smaller towns. 


84 


228. It has, however, been noticed that the rates per mille of metropolitan 
papers are generally the lowest and those of district papers highest. The dis- 
parity appears mainly due to the degree of competition among the papers 
published at such centres. At metropolitan centres where a number of 
papers are published, there is keen competition and the mille rates have 
stabilised at a low level. On the other hand, the papers in the district and 
provincial towns are often in a monopolistic position in that the advertisers 
have to advertise in such papers for covering a particular area even if the 
rate is higher. Such papers are able to secure business even at a high rate 
per mille. 

229. In some of the cases it appeared to us that some papers must have 
been making higlier claims of cii‘culatJon to the advertisers as otherwise they 
could not justify their present tarilTs. Though these rates might appear 
competitive on the basis of circulations claimed, they turn out to be rather 
expensive on the basis of the lower circulation figure disclosed to us. 

230. There appear to exist certain reasons for increase of rate per mille 
witli d(‘crease of circulation. A minimum rate of advertisement will always 
exist to cover the composing chaj-ges and overheads. This factor is indepen- 
dent of circulation and will, therefore, make itself felt as an increase jn the 
rate per mille of papers with low circulation. It is also true that the cost of 
paper and printing, per thousand copies, is sometimes higher in the case of a 
paper with a small circulation than in another with a large circulation. It will 
be observed fr-om Appendix XXV that though the rate per mille is high, the 
tariff per column incli is low in the case of small papers, and the advertisers 
would not be unwilling to pay it. The circulation of a snuill paper (usually 
a district paper ) is Jimited to the district of publication and a few neighbour- 
ing places. Our studies of circulation in Chapter XVI show that in mofus.sil 
districts, a local paper of some standing always retains a major portion of 
the circulation to itself and the metropolitan and provinc'ial papers hold a 
much smaller profiortion of the total readership of the district. Thus a 
national advertiser anxious to cover a particular district cannot ignore the 
local district paper even if he advertiscss in metimpolitan and provincial 
papers circulating in that district. This difference in the effectiveness of the 
coverage will naturally be more marked in the case of local advertisers, where 
the ciiculation of the paper in and around the town of publication is of major 
importance. 

231. Multiple Readership. — K a paper is read in more than one household, 

its value to advertisers should increase, inasmuch as it increases the number 
of households approached. On the other hand, it may indicate that such 
households are not in a position to purchase a copy individually and thus dis- 
close their poor purchasing power. The readership survey carried out by us 
indicated a high degree of multiple readership, specially in rural areas. The 
survey has disclosed the following position in this respect: 

'I’ABLE V 

Multiple Readership 


Percentage of households which shared papers with others . 
Percentage of households which did not share papers with others 
Percentage of household s which neither confirmed nor denied 
sharingof papers ....... 


Rural Urban 

areas areas 


• 43 33 

. 40 48 

17 19 


It would be obvious fj'om these figures and from the previous paragraph that 
multiple readership exists more for district papers than for the rnetropolitan 
or provincial papers. We expect that weeklies and monthlies would have 
more multiple readership because they do not go out of date within 24 hours 
as a daib^ newspaper does. 

232. The period for which a reader comes in contact with the advertise- 
inent would also be a material factor to be taken into consideration while 
determining the tariffs. A daily is handled for a short time whereas weeklies 
and monthlies are read for a longer period. The contact, and consequently 
the impact made by the advertisement on the readers of dailies is for a shorter 
duration than in the case of w^ecklies and monthlies. Therclore the weeklies 
and monthlies can charge higher rates than the dailies. The volume of ad- 
vertising in w’eeklies and periodicals is howxwer only one-third of the volume 
in dailies, and this can be asciabcd to poor production, and limited circulation 
of the majority of the x>eriodicals. 

233. It has been mentioned in an earlier chapter that some dailies and 
periodicals conduct crossword and allied tyjjjcs of competitions as a method 
■of increasing their circulation. It can be f)resumed that a good number of 
their readei’S are interested only in competitions and the advertisers would 
therefore not get the full benefit of their circulation. Though their rates per 
mille may appear reasonable if calculated on their total sale ol copies, the 
advertiser would have to exclude those who bought the paper merely for 
the coupon, and the final cost to him per mille of elTective readership may 
be much higher. 

234. Selection of advertising media. — We are told that at present the ad- 
* vertisers usually take into consideration the circulation, standing, class of 

readership, area of coverage etc. in the selection of papers. In respeict of cir- 
culation, the advertiser relies on information furnished by the Audit Bureau 
of Circulation certificate, or where this is not available, on the claims made 
by the individual papers. The Audit Bureau of Circulation certificates usually 
furnish the average monthly circulation of the paper, date of establishment, 
selling price, average trade terms allowed, number of copies sold at maximum 
and minimum trade terms and in some cases a breakdown of circulation 
giving tlie number of copies sold in the town of {publication, in districts of 
the State in wliich the town is situated and in the other States. These ccr- 
tificales no doubt give some useful information to advertisers, and it would 
increase their usefulness if the breakdowns of circulations are given in all 
cases. However, the information contained in Audit Bureau of Circulation 
certificates does not meet fully the needs of the advertisers. Further there 
are many papers who are not members of the Audit Bureau of Circulation 
and no reliable data about their circulation are available to advertisers. 
Little information is available about the other relevant factors such as class 
of readership, or purchasing power. The advertiser would like to know, apart 
from the circulation of the paper in the area in which he intends to sell his 
goods, the extent of multiple readership, the type of readers of the paper and 
their purchasing power or household budget in relation to the commodity he 
is selling. It is only when he gets reliable information on these points, that 
he can determine whether the money spent on advertisement in a particular 
paper would bring adequate returns. Surveys of factors should be the basis 
for the professional advice tendered by Advertising Agencies. We under- 
stand that only one advertising agency has carried out market research to 
guide their advertising and this agency serves only one group of manufac- 
turers. We recommend that such market researches should be undertaken 


80 


by the Associations of Advertising Agencies. This will not only put the ad- 
vertisement tariffs on a more rational basis but would increase the effective- 
ness of advertisementB. 

235. Combined tariffs. — Multiple unit papers usually charge a combined 
advertisement rate for their publication from two or more centres; no- 
separate rate is quoted for publication from each centre, or if there is a 
separate tariff, it is only in respect of the smaller centre. The result is that 
the advertisers at the centre where such paper has a large circulation are 
forced to pay for the advertisement in the publication at the other centre. 
These advertisers cannot ignore these papers in view of their circulation at 
liie main centre, but circulation at the other centres may be of no use to them. 
Even if the advertiser is interested in the other centre, he cannot overlook 
other leading papers at that centre. A number of advertisers have com- 
plained to us about the unfairness of this practice. We are satisfied that the 
existence of a combined rate is an exploitation of the advertisers and should 
be discarded in favour of separate rates for each different centre. 

236. Cost of advertising in India. — Advertisers have complained that the 
rates per mille charged by Indian newspapers are higher than those charged 
by the newspapers in foreign countries and that in India the cost of advertis- 
ing is, therefore, higher. This, according to them, acts as a brake on furtner 
development of advertisement volume in this country. On the other hand, 
the advertising budget forms a much smaller proportion of the total cost of 
the product in this country than it does in others. The factors mentioned 
above as governing the tariffs, the general economic levels and the range of 
advertising are very different in this country. It would, therefore, be difficult 
to assess the effect of disparity of tariffs on the growth of advertisement 
volume in our country. It is, however, possible that the general advertise- 
ment volume may increase with a reduction in rates. This may also lead to 
a wider distribution of advertisements in the case of advertisers with limited 
budgets. We have already stressed the need of carrying out market surveys; 
when these are conducted the question of costs could be reviewed by the 
advertisers and newspapers to their mutual benefit. 

237. Government Advertisementfc.— The Central and State Governments 
form an important source of advertisements to the newspapers and periodi- 
cals. We called for information from the Central and various State 
Governments regarding their expenditure on advertisements through news- 
papers and periodicals. Many of the Governments maintained no centralised 
statistics in respect of advertisements issued by their various departments, but 
they collected the information, as far as they could, and supplied it to us. On 
the basis of the figures supplied to us, we estimate the total advertisements 
from Government sources at about Rs. 45 lakhs for the year 1951-52. This 
would form less than 7 per cent, of the total advertisement through ne-ws- 
papers and periodicals. Though the total volume of Government advertise- 
ment is not large, the importance attached to it by the Press is great. The 
appearance of Government advertisements gives a newspaper recognition of 
its status, which helps it not only to get advertisements from other authori- 
ties but also to increase its circulation, because a number of readers would 
purchase such a newspaper for the Government notifications and advertise- 
ments. 

238. We have examined some typical papers from the point of view of 
their economic dependence on Government advertisements. We found that in 
a majority of large metropolitan papers, the revenue from Government ad- 
vertisements ranges from 3 to 7 per cent, of their total advertisement revenue. 



37 


In the case of the small but leading papers at the provincial capitals, especial- 
ly of the smaller States, the advertisements from the Government form a 
sizeable portion of the total advertisement revenue. To illustrate the point, 
we would refer to the case of the only two papers in Assam where the 
i advertisement from Government sources forms 27 per cent, and 36 per cent. 

of the total advertisement revenue. Similarly, the two leading English 
papers at Hyderabad derive 17 per cent, and 18 per cent, of their advertise- 
ment revenue from the Government sources. A paper at Bhopal depends on 
* Government advertisement to the extent of 14 per cent, of its total advertise- 

ment revenue. Apart from these, there are some papers in larger States, 
which also derive a degree of financial support from Government advertise- 
ments which is much higher than the average. In Bombay City there are 
two papers having a circulation of about 5000 copies each and depending on 
the Government advertisement to the extent of 20 per cent, of their total 
advertisement revenue, and one other paper with negligible circulation has 
received a good amount of advertisement. This paper has not maintained any 
accounts, but from the figure of circulation intimated to us and the absence of 
any workers on its stall other than the proprietor it can be safely presumed 
that Government advertisement is the main financial support of this paper. 
(We were told that the paper had represented to Government that it had a 
large circulation). Similarly in the Punjab we came across two papers where 
the Government advertisements formed 29 per cent, and 15 per cent, of their 
advertisement revenue. In West Bengal, a newly started paper has received 
about one -fourth of its advertisement revenue from the State Government. 
A similar position has been noticed in one of the papers in Madhya Pradesh. 
Thus in some of the papers the Government adveidisements form an important 
^ source of revenue and the influence of the Government on such papers would 
be far greater than on other papers. Even if we exclude the papers favoured 
• by the Governments and the papers that have obtained substantial amounts 

of advertisement revenue by making false claims of circulation, there would 
still be some papers in the Capitals of smaller States which depend on 
Government advertisement as a source of revenue to a large extent. On the 
other hand, a large majority of district and mofussil papers appear to have 
been ignored by Governments as well as by local authorities when placing 
advertisements. 

239. We have indicated earlier the various factors which a commercial 
advertiser would have taken into account in selection of the particular news- 
papers and periodicals as advertising media. For a Government, some of the 
considerations such as circulation, standing, class of readership, area of cover- 
age, language and multiplicity of readership would be relevant but some 
^ others such as purchasing power and household budgets of readers would 

not be material in respect of the bulk of their advertisements. From the 

replies received from the various Governments it appears to us that a good 
4 number of them have included most of these factors, except multiple reader- 

' ship, in the criteria to be adopted for determining the suitability of their 

media. But in actual practice some divergence from these consideration.s 
appears to be in existence. Governments have not subjected to proper 
scrutiny the various claims of circulation made by some of the papers. Re- 
liance placed on police reports regarding circulation of newspapers appears 
to us to be misplaced. This lack of proper scrutiny of circulation has been 
noticed in the case of many State Governments as well as the Central 
Government. We feel that Governments would be justified in demanding 
proof, such as a certificate from the Audit Bureau of Circulation, in support 
of the circulation claim, before taking the papers on their media list. 


88 


•’40 Government should also check periodically the circulation of the 
papers' to whom they entrust advertisements. In this connection, the stat^- 
tics available with the Press Registrar should provide useful guidance. We 
Live come across some instances where tlic papers which torrnerly enjoyed 
a good euculalion but now have a poor circulation continue to receive the 
advertisements on the same scale as before. The class of readeiship may 
be iudeed bv experience and may be a matter even of personal assessment as 
there are no authentic data in this connection. Very few papers have carried 
out readcrshii) surveys and the claims made by papers m this respect may 
not alwavs be correct. We feel that more attention, in the mattei of cla.s 
of reader,ship should be paid than at present in those cases wheie is a 

relevioii factor. It is not unusual to find the “Grow More Food advert . 
ments in the large metropolitan English papers which are rarely read by the 
cultivators. Such advertisements should go to district and mofussil paper, 
in Indian languages. Similarly advertisements regarding the Small Savings 
cLmpmgn should go to papers read by the middle and lower middle classes 
for whom it IS intended. Multiple readership assumes special importance in 
connection with the Government advertising as they are not concerned with 
the purchasing power of each reader, and should be taken into account while 
placmg advertisements. It is unfortunate that the district and motu.s.sil pi ess 
has not received adequate attention of Government as inedia of advertise- 
ments However most of the Governments have recently realised their 
importance and are taking steps to see that such papers are not overlooke^d. 
The papers in metropolitan towns and provincial capitals have large circula- 
tions and they always receive the advertisements, while the district and 
mofussil paper.s receive them only when the advertising allotments are large 
This appears to be one of the reasons why the district and moiussil press has 
been ignored. Introduction of the principle of rotation specially in display 
adverUsements would even matters to some extent. Further, the rates per 
milk of district papers appear to be high. The natural rate .structure shou 
in our view be telescopic in character and in that case it multiple readership 
is also taken into consideration the rates of district papers would not be found 
uneconomic. 


241 . Telescopic tariff. — We feel that Government would be justified in 
claiming a special consideration in respect of the rates charged hy tihe news- 
papers and can insist that the rates should follow a particular pattern with- 
out reference to language or location of the paper. We would suggest a teles- 
copic maximum rate subject to an overall maximum on the following lines in 
respect of contract display advertisements: 


Maximum basic charge 
First 5000 copies 
Next 5000 copies . 
Next 5000 copies 
Further copies 


Rs. 2-0-0 per single column inch, plus. 


” 0-6-0 

per mille per single column inch. 

” 0-5-0 

Ditto 

” 0-4-0 

Ditto 

0-2-0 

Ditto 


Subject to a maximum rate of Rs. 15 per single column inch. 


242 . Such a rate structure would take into account the fact that the 
cost of production of a newspaper decreases with higher circulation. The 



89 


maximum rates and the maximum rates per milJe based on above principle 
for typical circulation figures would work out as in Table VI below: 

Table VI 

Te.lescopic tarijj mirying with circnJation 

1 2 3 


Circulation 


5,000 
1 0,000 . 

15.000 . 

20.000 . 

30.000 . 

40.000 . 

50.000 

60.000 . 

70.000 . 

80.000 . 

81,500 and over 


Maxim 

um 

Rate per 

Maxi mil ni Rate 

single 

column incii 

Mille 


Rs. 



Rs. 

3 

H 

0 

0 

,12 (; 

5 

7 

0 

0 

8 8 

6 

1 1 

0 1 

0 

7 2 

7 

5 

0 

0 

5 10 

8 

9 

0 

0 

4 7 

9 

13 

0 

0 

3 II 

1 1 

I 

0 

0 

3 6 

12 

5 

0 

0 

3 3 

13 

9 

0 

0 

3 I 

14 

^3 

0 

0 

3 0 

k 5 

0 

0 

0 2 : 

1 1 or ] 


243. Such a rate would not be lower than the present rates of most 
Indian language papers. It will, however, be lower than the rate charged 
by certain large English papers and by a few smaller English papers at the 
provincial centres. The main argument for the English language papers 
for citargiog a much higVier rate is that tlie puchasing power of their 
readers is much higher than in the case of Indian language papers. As the 
purchasing power ouid be of no consequence to Governments as adver- 
tisers, they v\'euld 0(4 be justinc'd in paying higher rates to the English 
pan r,:. I'he suggesstion is not made with any intention of reducing on the 
Vvdioh: the advertisement budget of the Government but to rerider possible 
the (lisl ribution of advertisements over a numbin' of newspapers and 
periodicals by not allowing a few top papers to absorb the entire advertising 
budget of the Governments. It may be noted in this connection that the 
arguments against the existing combined rate for a paper published from 
dihej-ent centrers (multiple uml) referred to erniier, apply with greater 
force in respect of State Governm-c-nt advertisement and we feel that the 
Gove^’nment should take the lead in breaking up this unfair practice. 


244 . The smaller States have to examine the utility of advertising in 
papers published outside the State. We have noticed that such outside 
parsers now claim a substantial share in the advertisement budgets of some 
States. It may be expedient from the point of view of such State Govern- 
meius to advertise certain items in extra-State papers. For example, 
vacancies requiring high qualifications or tenders for big projects or Govern- 
ment loans may have to be publicised all over the country. If, however, 
the nature of the advertisement is such that i3ublicity outside the State is 
not very essential and the intention is only to reach all those residents of the 
State who read such extra-State papers, this practice leads to expenditure 
not justified by the results. The advertisement tariff of the extra-State paper 
is based on its total circulation, but the actual circulation in such State is 
often only a small portion of the total. Thus, the actual rate which such 



90 


Sate Governments have to pay, per thousand copies circulating in the State^ 
works out at fantastic figures. In one of the States, we found that the actual 
rate which the State Government had to pay on this basis worked out as high 
as Rs. 82 per mille per column inch. This aspect, therefore, has to be taken 
into consideration. 

245. We were told that the new'spapers experience some difficulty be- 
cause of delays in payment of Government bills for advertising. In the 
case of the Central Government, the advertisements are jilaced through 
Advertising Agencies. In the case of any other clients, it would have been 
the responsibility of tlie Agency to pay the bill on the due date, but we were 
informed that in the case of Government advertisement the agency makes, 
payment only after it has been paid by Government. Under the present 
arrangement whereby the agency gets a commission on Government busi- 
ness, its responsibility for prompt payment should be obvious. Even where 
the advertisements are placed directly by the Governments concerned, we 
would urge them to consider the difficulties caused to the newspapers by 
delays in payment. 

246. It is understood that the Advertising Branch of the Ministry of 
Information are making arrangements for handling classified advertise- 
ments on behalf of all departments of the Government of India. At present 
such advertisements are being issued directly by the department or the 
Ministry concerned to newspapers of its own selection. We expect that 
centralisation would enable the placing of advertisements to the maximum 
advantage of the departments concerned while at the same time ensuring 
that the advertisements are distributed over a wider field than at present. A 
similar centralisation in the case of State Governments should also prove of 
benefit. 

247. Advertising Agencies.— There has been a tendency for advertisement 
to be placed more and more through advertising agencies. By affording 
facilities to the advertisers, this practice increases the total volume of 
advertisements and is, therefore, helpful to the press financially. It would 
also tend to reduce the influence of the advertisers on the Press, by reducing 
the direct contact between the Press and the advertisers. Though it is 
theoretically possible that advertising agencies may themselves act as a 
source of pressure on the Press, usually the diversity of interests among 
their clients would reduce the danger. 

248. At present the advertising agencies account for a substantial portion 
of the advertisement volume of the newspapers and periodicals. There 

were 109 agencies in operation in 1951 which were conducting business. ^ 

Their total turnover was about Rs. 3 5 crores of which Rs. 2 78 crores were 
advertisements placed with newspapers and periodicals, the balance of 
Rs. 72 lakhs being spent on publicity through other media. The advertising 
agencies are mainly (about 75 per cent.) situated in metropolitan towns. O 

Fully half of the total turnover of advertisements placed by agencies v/ith 
the newspapers and periodicals is accounted for by 5 big agencies. Out of 
these, four are owned by foreign interests and the fifth, though now owned 
by Indian nationals has some foreign associations. 

The function of advertising agencies is not only to place advertisements 
on behalf of their customers but also to advise them regarding the suitability 
of their media, and to undertake planning of advertisements, preparation of 
blocks etc. The customers are charged separately by the agency for design- 
ing, preparation of blocks and other art work, but for their other services, 



91 


the agencies get a commission from the newspapers. When the same 
advertisement has to be placed in a number of papers in the same language, 
the charges for designing and preparation of blocks are distributed over all 
the papers and thus the cost of advertisement in each paper is reduced. In 
the case of a single paper, in a language such as Assamese, the cost of 
advertisement would rise, as full charges for designing and block making 
will have to be borne for advertising in such a paper, and some agencies 
may hesitate before including such papers, on their lists. The rate of com- 
mission obtained from newspapers varies, but the newspapers which are 
members of the Indian and Eastern Newspapers Society and the agencies 
which have been accredited by the Society, follow certain standard rules in 
this regard. These accredited agencies receive 15 per cent, commissjon from 
the member newspapers on the gross value of advertisements placed by them. 
Non-accredited agencies get only 6| per cent, from the members. The 
percentage of commission received by accredited agencies from newspapers 
which do not belong to the Indian and Eastern Newspapers Society varies, 
and generally ranges between 15 per cent, and 25 per cent, or even 30 per 
cent. A larger commission is presumably paid to induce agencies to favour 
such papers in placing advertisements. The Advertising Agencies 
Association assured us that such under-cutting of rates does not influence 
them. A leading agency told us that such excess commission is passed on 
by them to their customers who are billed only 15 per cent, on the gross 
value of advertisements and thus this inducement is in elTect a reduction of 
advertisement rates to the customer. 

250. Oiscrimination in placing advertisements. — It was complained to us 
that the Advertising Agencies discriminate between Indian and English 
language papers. Further, the Indian Language Newspapers’ Association 
stated tha^. even if a mofussil language paper has a circulation equal to that 
of another paper published at the metropolitan centre, the fo.rmer is not 
placed Oil the same footing as the latter by the metropolitan Advertising- 
Agencies. We have gone into this question and find that the total volume of 
advertisements, placed by 109 Advertising Agencies with English papers and 
periodicals amounted in 1951 to Rs. 1.82 crores while that placed with Indian 
language papers and periodicals amounted to Rs. 0.9 crores (the balance of 
Rs. 6 lakhs was placed with foreign papers and periodicals). Considering that 
the total circulation of English daily papers is a little more than one-fourth of 
the total circulation of dailies in India, the above ratio of advertisements 
would indicate that the advertiser attaches greater value to the readers of 
English papers. The advertising agencies and their associations, on the other 
hand, have repeatedly denied that this is the result of any discrimination 
exercised against Indian language papers or district papers. In their opinion, 
there is a wide dilTerence in the pulling power of English papers and Indian 
language papers. The fact that the advertisers have limited budgets seems 
to operate in favour of the top papers which are mostly English papers. 
Further the products advertised are sold mainly in the larger towns. The 
Advertising Agencies have also complained that district papers do not 
approach them nor do they give full particulars about their circulations and 
other relevant items which would enable the agencies to recommend them. 
They have stressed the unattractive layout of advertisements appearing 
generally in the Indian language and district papers. 

251. We examined the distribution of advertising of the five big agencies 
and found that 34 English dailies and 140 Indian language dailies were able 
to secure advertisement from one or more of these agencies. Considering the 
total number of English and Indian language papers, it would appear that 


92 


while almost all the English papers have received the advertisements, a good 
number of papers in Indian language papers were not able to secure any 
advertisement from the agencies. The papers that did not receive advertise- 
ment were mostly district papers of small circulation. 

252. In Chapter IV we have pointed out that as advertisers have limited 
budgets, advertisement revenue is diverted to papers having the largest cir- 
eulation in a particular area. We have compared the amount of advertisement 
revenue received some of the leading English and Indian language papers in 
•certain towns from the five big agencies as well as the total gross advertise- 
ment revenue earned by them during 1951. Our analysis disclosed the 
following position: 


Table VII 


English Papers 


15 papers published in 9 different towns with ! 
a total circulation of 5,45,000. | 

Rs. (thousands) i 

1. Gross Advertisement Revenue 2,65,23 | 

2. Advertisement revenue from five ; 

big agencies . . . 12.,so | 

3. Percentage . • j 


Indian language papers 

18 papers published in 9 diiferent towns 
with a total circulation of 5,57,000. 

Rs. (thousands) 

87,23 

22,28 

26 


It was seen that the revenue obtained from the five big agencies formed 27 
per cent, of the total advertisement revenue in respect of the English papers 
and 26 per cent, in respect of the Indian language papers. As this percentage 
is practically the same between the top English and Indian language papeu's, 
we feel that the existing dilference between the advertisement revenue of 
these papers appear to be based on a general assumption regarding the 
■difference in the pulling power of the two sets of paper, and that this assuiiip ■ 
tion is not limited only to advertising agencies but appears to prevail among 
other advertisers and the public. This particular assumption has not, how- 
»ever, been substantiated by any readership surveys or other authentic infor- 
mation. 

253. We examined further the distribution of advertisement revenue 
among the three English and three Indian language papers which lead in cir- 
■culation in one metropolitah centre. Five of them are sold at the same retail 
selling price and we were told that all six papers generally reach the same 
class of readers. The result was as under: 

Table VIII 


English papers (total 
circulation 1,77,000) 

Rs. (thousands) j 


Indian language pa- 
pers (total circulation 
% 1,83,000). 

Rs. (thousands) 


1. Gross advertisement revenue 

2. Advertisement revenue from five big 

agencies ...... 

3. Percentage .... 


91,86 


30.98 

7.65 

27 


24>I7 

26 



93 


We find that the advertisers are inclined to assume the same degree ol 
difference between the pulling power of the English and Indian language 
papers even where according to what we were told, they reach practically 
the same class of readers. We, therefore, think that the Indian language 
papers have not received adequate attention from the advertising agencies 
and their value as media appears to be underestimated. 


2f)4. We feel that the advertisers should be guided by certain definite and 
uniform principles when making their choice of newspapers and periodicals. 
We have indiiailed earlier the various factors that alfect ll\e clioice of media. 
As far as possible no discrimination on the ground of language should be 
made. The unattractive layout of advertisements in the Indian language 
papers is partly due to paucity of tlie variety of characters available in Indian 
languages and it would be in the interest ol Indian language papers to devote 
more attention to the layout of advertisements. Advertisers slioiild pay 
suhicient attemtion to the elaims of district papers in respect of dislnbution 
of advertisements and the latter should also furnish sufUcient particulars to 
the advertisers so that the usefulness of their media can be examined. Mul- 
tiple read(a;ship, as disclosed m our readership survey, should bo taken into 
account by the advertisers. The importance of maiket research lias already 
been stressed by us and it sliould be conducted by the agencies. 

255. Accreditation rules of the Indian and Eastern, Newspapers Society. — 

It has been urged before us by the Indian Language Newspapers Association 
and by the Maharashtra Advertising Agencies that tlie rules pirescribed by 
the Indian and Eastern Newspapers Society for accreditation ol agi'ncii's meet 
the requirements as far as national advertising is concerned, but the Indian 
and Eastern Newspapers’ Society has not provided for agents specialising in 
local business. This, they said, has affected tlie district and mefussil papers 
adversely as they depend more on local advertisement than on national adver- 
tisers. The difiiculty arises from the conditions prescribed by Indian and 
Eastern Newspapers’ Society for accreditation in respi'ct of capital, iLirnover, 
office equipment and distribulion of business over five principal clients at 
least one among them having advertisements of a natiorml character, i.e . — 
covering at least two States. The capital, turnover and oflice equipinimt pres- 
cribed are on the high side and an agency specialising in local advertising, 
would not require such a standard of business organisation. Further, the con- 
ditions prescribing distribution of business over two States cannot be satisfied 
by such agencies. The only course therefore for such agencies in the present 
condition is to act as canvassers, as they are described by Indian and Eastern 
Newspapers’ Society and be content with a commission of (>l per cent, which 
is very inadequate for such agencies to carry on their business. 

256. We have considered all the above points placed before us. It appears 
to us that tiie Indian and Eastern Newspapers’ Society has been guided by 
two considerations in prescribing these conditions. One is that the agency 
should have some financial standing as according to the rules, 75 days credit 
is allowed to agencies by member newspapers. Secondly the Society presum- 
ably desires to avoid the possibility of some newspaper undertakings and» 
business houses starting their own advertising agency and thus retaining the 
15 per cent, commission wffiich is legitimately due to the agencies. Possibly 
for this purpose, they have prescribed a condition that there should be at 
least five principal clients for an agency and that one of them should be a 
national advertiser. But we feel that it is in the interests of the press as well 
as the advertisers to have some agencies specialising in local advertising. The- 
fact that a substantially large number of agencies are situated in metropolis 


94 


tan towns shows that there has not been adequate development of agencies 
specialising in local advertisements. We feel that at present there is con- 
siderable scope for expansion of local advertisements among the district and 
mofussil papers, and this scope is likely to expand in the future. In order 
that such agencies specialising in local advertisement may be encouraged, 
we suggest that the Indian and Eastern Newspapers’ Society should consider 
.accrediting two types of agencies, National and Regional, and for accredita- 
tion in the case of regional agencies, the conditions in r€^spect of capital and 
turnover requirements and office equipment may be relaxed. The clause re- 
lating to the distribution of business in at least two States may be deleted in 
their case, though the condition about handling the business of at least five 
principal clients can remain. The services rendered by national and regional 
agencies would be different, and the commission payable to the regional 
agency may be fixed lower, say at 10 per cent. Due to the relaxation of condi- 
tions regarding capital and turnover, the period of credit allowed to such 
agencies may be reduced to one month. As the advertisers in such cases are 
expected to be local concerns, this would not act adversely on the working 
of such agency. 

257. We came across an advertisement in a leading English daily of a 
scheme offering a prize of Hs. 15, ()()() to that accredited advertising agency 
which would show the largest increase in turnover during 1954 over their 
business for 1952, under certain conditions stipulated. A payment of this 
nature would be an infraction of the terms agreed upon by^ all members of 
the Indian and Eastern Newspapers Society. It would amount to a concealed 
rebate to the winning agency and therefore be very objectionable. We are 
glad to be informed that the matter has been taken up by the Indian and 
Eastern Newspapers Society and that the paper has since withdrawn the 
.scheme. 

258. We have come across complaints that certain newspapers make 
secret payments or offer other inducements to the media men employed in 
advertising agencies in order to make them increase the allotment for their 
particular paper. The offer of such inducements is highly objectionable 
and we trust that combined action would be taken by the associations of 
newspaper proprietors, the Advertising Agencies' Association and the Indian 
Society of Advertisers to put a stop to this very improper practice. 

259. Delays in payment.— The ILNA has brought it to our notice that while 
the agencies pay to the members of the lENS their bills within 75 days of 
their date, they do not so in the case of other papers. Since the latter are 
mostly small or medium sized, a further strain is thereby put on their already 
lean finances. We consider such discrimination unjustified and feel that once 
Advertising Agencies place advertisements with newspapers, no gi'ounds 
exist for any discrimination. We understand that the ILNA has already 
taken up the matter with the Advertising Agencies’ Association but that the 
latter has not so far given any definite reply. A decision on this point should 
'be based on principles of fairness and should not depend upon the bargain- 
ing power of the papers. 

2(30. Advertising and business interests. — No evidence has been placed 
before us that would show that any industry or group of industries contri- 
bute such a high proportion of advertising revenue to the press as a whole 
as to be able to hold it to ransom. The analysis carried out by us of the 
range of commodities advertised by 34 agencies referred to earlier shows 
that the advertisement volume is fairly distributed over a large number of 



95 


trade and industries. We, however, find that some of the smaller 
and many of the district papers depend to a large 

categories of advertisements such as cinema announcemei . , ' 

e^Tn tiew of the financial importance of enema -^vertisemen s for he 
smaller newspapers we do not feel that any restrictions need be imposed 
on such advertisements. 

261 There is a possibility that advertisemciitr. may be used a.s a means of 
substising newly started ventures. It was suggested to ns that two mipor- 
tant groups of newspapers, the proprietors ot which have huge inteicb.o 
in other businesses re.sort to such method of subsidising. We have examined 
these cases and our examination does not indicate ai^ 

ine at nresent We have found that in the cases ol thc.-e two „u)up. ^ 
•idvertisement emanating from businessi's m which the proprietors ate mle- 
rested form a very small fraction of their total advcrt.semein reve rr^ 
Further the business houses have also placed an equal or even a laigt. 
vlme of advertisements with other papers some of winch are competing 
with the papers belonging to these groups. 

262. It was suggested to ns that the foreign ^usHiess interests and 
advertisers (>xerl a great deal of innuenee on our press, and have «is><-i>mi 
against Indian language papers. It is difficult to find 
of advertising emanating from foreign business interests. But these five 
?geiu^Xch are owned or managed by foreigners transact business not 
onlv on behalf of concerns owned by foreigner.s but also on behalf ot Indian 
b^sli’^^s houses. As has already been stated earlier the advertisements 
Ladled by the five big agencies forms about 50 per cent, o the total volume 
emanating from advertising agencies and m the case of the. top - - 

amZlts to roughly 27 per cent, of their advertisement revenuev We do 
not think that the foreign business interests exert any undue 
the mere fact of being a large source ot advertisements. But, as m other 
cases, we would like that Indian capital and Indian personnel are as.sociated 

with these agencies. 

263 Advertisement space.— Advertisements occupy a sulxstantial propor- 
tion of ffioTLL m newspapers and m many periodicals too. When the News- 
print Control Order was in force during the war, a maximum had been set on 
thTLoporton of advertisements in any issue. At the end of the war, when 
SntLls were removed, this restriction also disappeared. Supplies of news- 
print were not, however, freely obtainable and as a result duiing the period 
postwar boom the proportion of advertisements in newspapers increased very 
rapIS case, Ihe, exceeded hall .he cohlenl, of the new,- 

paper It is true that at no time did the proportion teach 
noLed in the United States of America, but it was generally felt that in the 
more established papers who could command a steady flow of advertisements, 
the proportion was excessive. With newsprint now in freer supply with 

boom eLdition no longer cxisl.ng, the olf ” 0 , „ 

fallen and is generally well below the maximum of 40 per tent, that we 

have recommended in Chapter IV. 

264 We have recommended that the total space allotted to 
tisements in daily newspapers should not exceed 40 per cent, of the 
printed area. This would ensure that the reader gets an adequate 
proportion of news and views and that the advertisements are net reduced 
L effectiveness because there are too many of them. The Association of 
Advertising Agencies told us in the course of their evidence that they too 


96 


would favour such a maximum limit on advertisements. While circum- 
stances may compel a newspaper to exceed this limit slightly in one issue 
or another, we feel that the total space devoted to advertisements averaged 
out over a period of a week should not exceed the limit we have prescribed, 

n ^ the maximum limit on advertisements at 40 per cent, of 

^ I have taken into consideration not merely the present 

piac ICC 3ut w at we expect would be the luture tendency once a price- 
VT introduced. In the analysis of newcspaper space (Appendix 

durinyt ^ advertisements in 30 different newspapers 

thor, quarter ol 1953 has been set out ui detail. DurinR that period 

thp'r uu the use of newsprint and newspapers had, of 

Idvl r-r Uccoid, expanded the size of eueli issue to such an extent that the 

Out of proportion of the total. 

Out of those tliat u e examined, only one m-wspaper had during this period 

exceeded the proportion of 40 per <.ent. of advertisemenis and eve LS e 

f Jietd tilhei- to recuee the number of pages or to increase tiic price of each 
^P.y, lore would be a strong temptation lo condense news and editorial 
matter so as to acconamodate allthe ,adver(rsement.s that they hat booked! 

inca-easttrtt’e*'"mtt''l’l reading matter would 

limit thmto 

lartmr ot "'i ‘^’urrent advertisement rates, newspapers, particularly the 

may no lit V bt r “f’vertisement. Tlrough it 

numhetnf t . Po.ssible to earn the .same revenues with a restricted 

which woulttnb'lttf readjustment of their economy 
Which, would enable newspapers to work to the same margins as at present 

267, Advertising supplements.— New.spapers have shown an inereasing 
tendency lo bring out supplements. Some of these supplements carry usedul 
information on certain topics, such as the Five Year Plan. Others are brought 
out on some occa.sion like Independence Day, and carry a historical survev 
of events or informative articles. Thei-e has not been much increase in the 
tendency to issue such .supplements, but an increase has been noticed in the 
number of what may be called commercial supplements. These are in res- 
pect of an industry as a whole or in respect of some particular firm or 
undertaking. The occasion may be an anniversary of the starting of the 
industry, the opening of an undertaking or sometimes be even without any 
such justification. The reading matter is often in the nature of propaganda 
in favour of the industry or the firm, disguised as general information, and 
It IS u.sually provided by the firms concerned or others connected with the 
particular industry. When a newspaper decides to issue such a supplement 
It approaches firms engaged in the industry itself, or the concerns supplying 
capital equipment, raw materials or stores to the industry; in the case of 
a new undertaking, the contractors, architects, furniture merchants' and 
persons who have supplied other materials for erecting a new building or 
factory are approached for advertisements. The reading matter provided 
such supplements is generally not of much interest to the readers, who. 
eyote less time or attention to such supplements than to the other parts 

men^! advertisement value of the space in the supple- 

ments comiderably lessens. It has been stated before us by the advertising 
agencies that in the majority of cases the advertisers are not interested in. 


booking such space, not only because of its lower intrinsic value, but also 
because they do not think that they have many potential customers in the 
class of readers reached by the particular paper. In spite of this, the influ- 
ential papers exert pressure on such advertisers and book advertisements 
for the supplements. We agree with the view of advertising agencies that 
such supplements offer publicity incommensurate with the expenditure in- 
volved and has benefited only the newspapers. We therefore feel that the 
supplements of the commercial type should be discouraged. The adoption 
of a price-page schedule as suggested by us in Chapter IV should serve to 
stop the indiscriminate issue of supplements. 

268. Objectionable advertisements, — Apart from considerations of the 
space occupied by advertisements, we find that judged by their contents, 
a number of the advertisement must be regarded as objectionable. Firstly, 
there are advertisements of proprietary medicines and drugs which tend to 
encourage self-medication of certain diseases which it is essential to get 
treated by qualified doctors. There are others which offer the services of 
quacks, abortionists, and so on. There are also advertisements of drugs 
which are dangerous or habit-forming. There are other advertisements 
w^hich offer for sale certain drugs which may prove harmful if they are 
used indiscriminately. These are instances where the product or service 
which is advertised is in itself harmful or dangerous to the public. Certain 
other advertisements are fraudulent or likely to mislead. Some tend to 
exploit the unemployment situation in this country, the greed of the small 
investor or the credulity of the general public and make misleading offers 
of jobs to be had, profitable investments to be found or magical cures for all 
known and unknown diseases. Some offer the services of astrologers and 
quote testimonials of w'onderful predictions. There are also those advertise- 
ments which offend in respect of their illustrations or the text, even though 
what they offer to the public may not be objectionable in themselves. 

269. There is a large proportion of advertisements, particularly cinema 
advertisements, with illustrations or text which can be considered objection- 
able. We understand that in the United States of America, film advertise- 
ments have also to be approved by a Central body for the industry before 
they can be released and that they cannot depict any scene of incident which 
does not find a place in the film as censored or released. It would appear 
that in the case of Indian film advertisements, no such restraint is enforced 
or observed. Such objectionable tendencies have been noted not merely 
in film notices but in other advertisements also. Even matrimonial adver- 
tisements have sometimes been crudely worded. But lapses from good 
taste are most noticeable in the case of advertisements of drugs intended 
for use in connection with women's ailments, venereal diseases or sexual 
indulgences. Even a widely respected Hindi literary monthly carried a large 
number of such advertisements. There is the practice of advertising obscene 
publications in a manner which conveys to the reader that the publication 
is salacious, even though the wording of the advertisement may not always 
be obscene. While the bigger papers rarely commit the mistake of accepting 
such advertisements, we find them all too common in the smaller papers 
and in the periodicals. 

270. Code of Advertising.— There have been attempts to effect a reform. 
We were informed that the Indian and Eastern Newspapers Society had 
adopted a code for the benefit of its members, but though some papers had 
adhered to it very strictly and even went beyond the code, there have been 
others who took advantage of the fact that the code was recommendatory 

18 Mofl&B. 


98 


and not mandatory. The Association of Advertising Agencies and the Indian 
Society of Advertisers have both informed us that they are in favour of a 
code of advertising that would keep out advertisement of an objectionable 
or of doubtful character and are taking steps for its adoption. They have 
mentioned that the codes, adopted by the International Chamber of Com- 
merce and by the New York Times are examples which are worth study 
and adaptation. These are reproduced in Appendix XXVI. We realise that 
in many cases it is possible to restrict the publication of such advertisements 
by a concerted decision of the industry itself. We would recommend to 
Indian and Eastern Newspapers Society and Indian Language Newspapers’ 
Association the adoption of a strict code of advertising whkh all members 
would be compelled to follow and which would be binding also on the 
Association of Advertising Agencies and Indian Society of Advertisers. Com- 
pliance with the code could be most effectively secured if these four bodies 
could together join to form an Advertising Council for the country which 
would concern itself with the ethics and practice of advertising. Such a 
Council may also be able to advise the Central and State Governments 
on advertising policy generally or in specific cases. This would, however, 
leave out a large number of small newspapers and periodicals which do not 
belong to either of these corporate bodies and which contain the greatest 
number of offenders against decency and morality. It is they who have 
furnished the majority of examples of objectionable advertising that veno- 
mous critics of this country have found pleasure in quoting in support of 
their unjustified generalisations. To abate this particular nuisance, legal 
measures will be necessary. 


271. Advertising of Drugs and Remedies. — The largest field of such objec- 
tionable advertising which we feel should be put down by law is of drugs and 
proprietary medicines. We have already referred to the fact that the 
volume of advertising of such commodities ranks next only to the volume 
of advertising of cosmetics. Quite a number of the drugs and medicines 
advertised are harmless if not always effective. A number of these prepara- 
tions are, however, offered to persons suffering from diseases for which 
drugs of proved therapeutic value have not so far been developed. The 
harm that arises from such advertising is that the patients might be deluded 
into dosing themselves with these medicines and delay medical examination 
or advice till the disease reaches an incurable stage. The Indian Medical 
Association have suggested to us the banning of all advertisements of medi- 
cines which claims to cure or alleviate any of the following diseases: 


Cancer. Glaucoma. 

Brights’ disease. Locomotor ataxia. 

Cataract. Paralysis. 

Diabetes. Tuberculosis. 

Epilepsy or fits. 

In the United Kingdom, advertisements of drugs or treatment for these 
diseases are governed by the Cancer Act of 1939 and the Pharmacy and 
Medicines Act of 1941. (Advertisements relating to the treatment of vene- 
real diseases are governed by the Venereal Disease Act of 1917.) 


272. It w^s mentioned to us that in the case of one or two of these 
diseases, certain Indian systems of medicine have developed promising 
methods of treatment and that these should be deleted from the list above. 
This is a matter really for medical experts to decide and we shall recommend 
only that there should be a specific ban on the advertisements of remedies 
for such diseases as are finally included in the list. 




99 


273. Quite a number of advertisements hold out promises of lasting cuie 
• of diseases which, though they might not fall under the 

mentioned as requiring prompt medical attention m order to imi c - 

chances of the patient, would still be of a nature m which a cure cannot I. 
promised. Some of the so-called medical practitioners offer to prescribe for 
these diseases by correspondence, while others go through the formali y 
examining the patient. The objectionable feature is that they liold out hopes 
which v,^ould be impossible to fulfil. Some offers are of talismans or magical 
cures repeatedly stated to have been handed to the advertiser by some 
‘rishi’ usually in the Himalayas, which the advertiser is prepared to pass on 
for the benefit of humanity at an exorbitant price. 

‘>74 Recommendations of the B.M.A. — The British .Medical Association 
have published the report of their Committee on proprietary rnedicmes, 
whose recommendations on the advertisement and sale of such mechtiius 
have been passed by the Council of the B.M.A. in 1949. We are reproducing 
it in the Appendix XXVII as we consider that there are rnany recommenda- 
tions which deserve to be embodied either in legislation or m the codes 
approved by Association of Newspaper Proprietors. 

275. One of these is that no adveiTiscmcnt should contain a claim to cane 
any ailment or symptoms of ill-health, nor should an advertisement contain 
a word or expression used in such a form or context as to mean iii the 
positive sense the extirpation of any ailment, illness or aisease. It thus 
places a total ban on any claims to cure. Further it says that no .advertise- 
ment should offer to diagnose by eorre.spondence, diseases, conuilions or 
any symptoms of ill-health in a human being or request trom any person 
a statement of his or any other person’s symptoms of i!!-heahh with a view 
to advising as to or providing for treatment of such conditions of lU-health 
by correspondence. Nor shoukl any advertisement ofler to treat by corres- 
pondence any ailment, illness, disease, or symptoms thereof m a humaii 
being. They have also drawn up a li.st of diseases, illnesses or conditions lOi 
which medicines, treatments or products may not be advertised. This list 
is in addition to the diseases on which restrictions have already bi'cn imposed 
by statute in the United Kingdom and to which the Indian Meoical A.s^ocia- 
tion have drawn our attention. 

27G. Dangerous Drugs. — In the field of dangerous (Irugs, wo noticed that 
certain drugs, the advertisement and sale of wdiich has been Iianned in the 
United States of America, (the country of tlieir manufacture) are extensively 
advertised in the Indian Press. With so many sy.stems of medicine prevalent, 
it is no doubt difficult to draw up a list of dangerous drugs commomy 
administered in treatment. But in the absence of an Act to control the 
.sale of such drugs, any regulation of their advertisements may reduce the 
extent of their sale but would not save the public completely from its use. 

277, Acts to regulate advertisements of drugs and medicines.— We have 
studied the West Bengal Undesirable Adverfisement Control Act, 1948 and 
the Bihar Drug Advertisement Control Act of 1946. We find that m the 
West Bengal Act, there is a general ban on advertisements of rnedicmes or 
appliances to be used as contraceptives, regardless of the manner m which 
such advertisements may be worded. We are of the opinion that in view 
of the circumstances in India and the insignificant number of centres where 
competent advice on this subject is available, a ban on all such advert .senients 
irrespective of the way in which they are worded requires reconsideration. 
Further, the West Bengal Act does not specifically cover abortifacients which 
-are largely advertised in this country. 


100 


278. The Bihar Act prohibits specifically advertisements offering drugs or 
treatment for the cure of venereal disease and such other diseases as may 
be specified in rules made under the Act. This may extend also to adver- 
ti.sements in public places and would, therefore, apply to sign boards outside 
the consulting rooms of medical practitioners. 

279. We consider that the Drugs and Magic Remedies (Objectionable 
.Advertisements) Act of 1954 though belated, would serve a very useful 
purpose in eliminating many of the advertisements that are disfiguring the 
Indian Press. But it falls short in many respects of what the country 
needs. The Act does not eliminate mischief even in the limited field it 
covers because of the exemptions that it provides such as, for instance, the 
permission to medical practitioners to advertise on sign-boards, or notices, 
the treatment of any of the diseases or disorders specified in the Act. 

280. Some of its shortcomings are understandable, since it was drawn 
up by the Ministry concerned only with public health. We can understand 
why it bans advertisements of talismcms, mantras and kavachas which claim 
to be able to help diagnosis or cure of diseases, but does not mention talis- 
mans which claim to help in making friends, winning fortunes or solving 
cross-word puzzles. It covers sexual tonics but makes no mention of love- 
philtres which are advertised. But even as an act to safeguard public 
health, we feel it falls short of requirements. For instance, while misleading 
advertisements relating to drugs are covered, there is nothing to stop mis- 
leading advertisements about appliances or courses of treatment, and if 
a person advertises that he would restore amputated limbs by dieting or 
by hypnosis, this Act cannot be applied to check him. No ban has been 
placed on diagnosis by correspondence or treatment by post, and both of 
these are widefy represented in advertisements. Advertisements of dange- 
rous drugs, or of those which are habit-forming, or of certain others which, 
when not administered under control, might lead to serious consequences,, 
nave not been banned. 

281. The Act attempts to fulfil two requirements, both of equal importance 
no doubt, one to prevent damage to the health of the citizens, and other 
to prevent a shock to their sense of good taste and decenejn We here are 
concerned with both of these, as well as other considerations. We are 
anxious that the .Press should not be used as a medium by hucksters w^ho 
seek to profit at the expense of the health of the public. We are equally 
keen that the contents of the advertising columns should not offend against 
decency or good taste. In addition, we wmuld also w^elcome measures which 
would protect the public against frauds who would play upon their credulity 
or ignorance in order to rob them. The Act does not go far enough in deal- 
ing with many evils that exist, including in particular the offers to diagnose 
diseases and prescribe medicine by correspondence. The Act provides for 
certain rules to be made thereunder and w^e trust the points we have men- 
tioned would be considered vrhen the rules are being drafted. 

282. Other Objectionable Advertisements. — We have referred earlier to 
other categories of advertisements which in our view need curbing. There 
is the general question of film advertisements, w^here we feel that the United 
States practice of prior approval by a Board might prove very useful. Then 
we have the advertisements of pornographic publications which we feel 
must be stopped. This is part of the wider question of the use of advertise- 
ments for promoting trade in commodities and services which may be con- 
sidered against the public interest or of fraudulent intent. Numerous 



101 


,«amples ol s«h .d.artis.mcnts ,>-o,e quotad in "lo 

debate on the Central Act. It is true that in corints on tire 

the person defrauded to prefer a complaint llic advtiti. _ 
reluctance of the victim to go to court. Tins is where we ‘ " 

Government should step in. The Act for the regulation o the 1 
industry should include a section which makes ^ i ^ \ 

with tine or with imprisonment, the issue 

publication. Whenever a member of the public complains ol having bc.n 
defrauded by means of such an 

rated and if it is found that there was intention to defiaud, .he acU <■ i v . er 
hSd h. prorccutod. Govcrnn.cnl vhould n, 1 

advertisements of books offered to “adults only , of ' ' ^ ' 

which “treat” eases of advanced pregnancy, “massage-establi .hments wh eh 
furnish “nurses” and the numerous other rackets ol tins ^ . 

of the Press has proved a boon to persons engaged in mk c , . f'' ‘ 

offering them the means of enlarging their held o. 

proper that llie Press should co-opera1e witli mvestn ation and ‘‘^P , 

!he offendei's. We would also urge upon the pubhidiers and edito,.> the 
wisdom of passing on for investigation any advertisements whu i u v ieee.]\e 
and .which in tlieir judgment are of this nature. 


» 




CHAPTER VI 
SUPPLIES 


■>83 As wc have already mentioned in Chapter I, the Government of 
IndW suff'est.'d that we mipht consider only those aspects of the supply of 
newsni in't and inachinery to the Press which could be conveniently examined 
■ 1 - nirl of our ''eneral enquiry, and particuiariy the adequacy of newspiin 
and^ its distribution and the demand for composing and printing machinery 
and its likely future trends. 

284. World siijiflies and consumption of newsprint.— Newsprint is an 
essenlial raw material for the production of daily and weekly newspapers. 
Since' new.spaper.s have a short life, the paper on which they are printed 
r«ed not po.sse.ss eitlier high quality or permanence. It must, howevei, be 
so c-iieap that it is economic to use even in editions selling in millions o 
copies 4aily. Newsprint is. therefore, made from the f -ad^ of 

pulp, consisting mainly of wood fibres ground up mechanically. An admix- 
ture of chemical pulp is made just sufficient to give the sheet the necessary 
strength to stand the strain of modern printing presses running at hig 
speeds. Newsprint is composed of 75 to 85 per cent, of mechanical and 25 
t^lS per cent, of unbleached sulphite pulp. Out of a total world production 
esiimated at 10 million tons in 1952, Canada accounts for 54 per cent., t e 
United States of America for 10 per cent., Scandinavia 10 per cent., United 
Kingdom 6 per cent., other Western European countries 13 per cent., Union 
of Soviet Socialist Republics 4 per cent, and the rest of the world for only 
3 pei' ce nt. In 1950, world exports of newsprint exceeded o*o million tons. 
But over three-fourths of this represented export from Canada to the United 
States, which, also imported nearly 1/5 of Scandinavian exports amountmg 
to 725,000 tons. This left the rest of the world to share out the remaining 
1 1 million tons of newsprint available for export. This works out to 80 lbs. 
per head of population in United States of America, whereas the people of 
India, Pakistan, Burma, China, Indonesia, and other Asian countries have 
had to be content with J lb. of newsprint per head. 


285 The diversion to United States of America of the supply from Canada 
ha‘^ focussed demand on Scandinavia, and thereby rendered newsprint from, 
that source scai'ce and dear. At times the Scandinavian and North American 
newsprint markets form virtually water-tight compartments, with the Scan- 
dinavian producers enjoying a monopoly of exports to soft currency coun- 
tries. The relcitive scarcity of Scandinavian newsprint is reflected in the 
high premium which it frequently commanded over the Canadian price. 


286. Following the outbreak of the Korean war the prices of many com- 
modities soared upwards without hindrance; but few of the commodities 
not directly required for defence rose to price peaks as pulp and 
pulp products, above all newvsprint. In many countries, newsprint deli- 
vered on contract doubled in price, while the spot price as much as trebled. 
The boom was aggravated by the speculative buying up of stocks by middle- 
men reselling to small consumers at high prices. The worst sufferers invari- 
ably were the countries like India not importing much newsprint, having no 


102 


reservation contracts with the exporters, and dependent for supplies on the 
spot market. 

A rise in the cost of newsprint may be reflected in a newspaper in three 
ways: 

(a) raising of the price of the newspaper; 

(b) raising the advertisement rates, or 

(c) reducing the number of pages printed. 

Unable to bear the burden of the rising costs, some of the newspapers 
may have to close down, as happened in 1951. This state of affairs is highly 
unsatisfactory as it acts as a brake on the expansion of the newspaper 
industry. 

287. One remedy is to improve the output of the existing manufacturing 
areas. Even in countries with a tradition in paper-making it takes nearly 
five years to bring a newsprint mill into production, and it may take longer 
in other countries. The long-term solution seems, however, to lie in the 
establishment of industries in countries possessing the requisite natural 
resources for making newsprint, not necessarily from the usual raw materials 
but from local fibrous material of suitable quality. 

288. Newsprint Distribution in India. — India is entirely dependent for her 
supplies of newsprint on foreign countries. The principal supplying coun- 
tries are Canada, Finland, Norway and Austria. Table I below gives the 
country-wise quantum of imports in tons and their value in rupees from 
1947-48 to December 1953. 


Table I 


Import of newsprint from 1947-48 onwards 



1947-48 

j 1948-49 

j 1949-50 

Country of 

Quantity 

Value in 

1 Quantity 

Value in 

Quantity 

1 Value in 

consignment 

in tons 

in 

I in tons 

in 

in tons 

! in 


thousands 


thousands 


1 thousands 



Rs. 


Rs. 


1 Rs. 

Canada . 
U.S.S.R.. 

12y2S7 

66,04 

1 13.329 

81,93 

11,207 

4,128 

r . 70,94 

Finland . 

6,897 

54,69 

7,336 

1 58,68 

[ 23.54 

Sweden . 

6a88 

46,35 

9,041 

? 73.41 

7,064 

43,81 

Norway . 

10,775 

90,86 

17,916 

M 8,67 

14.027 

84,80 

Austria . 

26 

23 

2,197 

i 17,03 

2,990 

17,11 

Others . . 

7,762 

53.39 

8,427 

■ 60,86 

5.323 

'29,56 

Total 

i 

43.935 

3,11,56 

58,246 

4,40,58 

44.739 

' 2,69,76 


1950-51 

1951-52 

1952-53 

Canada . 

8,294 

61,77 

12,316 

I.I9.I3 

10,559 

1,06,04 

U.S.S.R. 

3.559 

19,81 

7 > 85 I 

66,98 


. . 

Finland . 

12,140 

80,15 

9.924 

1,29,20 

11.324 

1.09.37 

Sweden . 

4 j 793 

36,21 

1,256 

i 6,35 

5.492 

■'45.45 

Norway . 

Austria . 

17,376 

I 3 I 9.13 

9.452 

1,20,85 

11,233 

1.06,96 

16,305 

1,15,08 

3»725 

43.98 

9,185 

72,89 

Others . 

12,739 

1.05,04 

5.957 

74.00 

6,103 

f 52,86 

Total 

75,206 

5.37.19 

50,481 

5.70.49 

53.896 

" 4 . 93.57 


104 


Country of consignment 


Canada . 

U.S.S.R. 

Finland 

Sweden 

Norway 

Austria . 

Others . 

'Fotal 


1 Nine months— 

-April to December 1953 

I Quantity in tons 

1 

I Value in thousands 

1 Rs. 

3>597 

i 31.28 

; 1,407 

7.83 

i 15,555 

1,11,30 

' 4,572 

33.79 

11,334 

85,38 

1 7,770 

55.68 

8,051 

58599 


52,286 3.84,25 


289. Before the War, India imported on an average 37,000 tons a year. 
This fell to 28,000 tons in 1941-42, and to as low as 14,000 tons in the follow- 
ing year. There was a gradual recovery in 1944-45 when imports rose to 
nearly 22,000 tons. The war stimulated the appetite for news, creating a 
larger demand for newspapers, and in consequence for newsprint. The pre- 
sent demand is estimated at 60,000 tons a year, and, according to the Planning 
Commission’s report, will amount up to 100,000 tons in 1960. Though our 
consumption of newsprint is not high in the world context, and is less than 
the annual quota of a large American daily newspaper, we are dependent 
on other countries for the supply and often find it difficult to procure even 
the relatively small quantity of newsprint we require. 

290. When supplies dwindled in 1941, the first Newsprint Control Order 
was promulgated (under the Defence of India Rules) on 31sl May, 1941, under 
which purchase and sale of newsprint were controlled, import quotas were 
allocated to various newspapers and the use of newsprint for purposes other 
than the publication of newspapers was prohibited. On 29th May, 1942, 
another control order entitled Newspapers Control Order was issued the 
object of which was to regulate the consumption of newsprint by fixing the 
maximum number of pages in newspapers sold at particular prices. From 
April 1943, the distribution of newsprint was also brought under control. 
In order to advise on the subjects of newsprint import, distribution and 
matters concerning control of newspapers, Government of India constituted 
an ad hoc Newsprint Committee consisting, among others, of persons from 
Indian and Eastern Newspapers Society and Indian Language Newspapers 
Association, and newsprint importers. The page restrictions, which were 
revised from time to time, were most stringent during the period April 1943 
to July 1946. By 1949, the supply position had improved considerably, sup- 
plies from foreign countries became available in sufficient quantities, and 
control was lifted from June of that year. 

291. Following decontrol, the consumption of newsprint shot up from 
3,550 tons a month to about 5,000 tons a month between July 1949 to January 
1950. This was due to three causes: (1) a large number of newspapers 
increased the number of pages in each issue; (2) a number of newspapers 
issued special supplements, and (3) circulation increased all round. From 
25th August, 1949, newsprint was placed on the Open General Licence. 
Following devaluation and Britain’s refusal to issue licences for imports 
from Canada, the United Kingdom importers shifted their orders for news- 
print to the Scandinavian mills. The result was that the Scandinavian mills 



received more orders than they could meet. The price shot up from £35 
c.i.f. a ton to £70 to £75 in January 1950 for Scandinavian newsprint. Owing 
to strikes in some Finnish mills, the production fell short of estimates. One 
of the largest mills in Australia had to remain closed for 5 months from the 
end of April 1951. The consumption of newsprint in United States of 
America increased by 10 per cent. In addition there was some stock-piling 
owing to the Korean war. All these things thinned the prospects of an ade- 
quate supply of newsprint for Indian requirements, while the stocks on 
hand were not sufficient to meet our requirements for more than 3 months. 

292. The general meeting of the Indian Language Newspapers’ Association 
held on 23rd December, 1950 urged Government to introduce statutory price- 
page control. Government issued an order on the 26th December, 1950 
effective from 1st January 1951 which gave slautory sanction to the volun- 
tary restrictions imposed by Indian and Eastern Newspapers Society on its 
members. The Order provided that the total number of pages in the issue 
of a standard size daily newspaper during any one week should not exceed 
60. This order made no reference to the price at which the paper was sold 
but restricted the quantity of newsprint that could be used in any one week. 
The total number of pages which newspapers of smaller form at could 
publish was also proportionate^^ restricted. Proprietor of newspapers and 
dealers were required to submit monthly consumption and stock returns. 
The Indian and Eastern Newspaper Society, at its General Meeting held on 
2nd — 4th February, 1951, recommended to Government that the Newsprint 
Control should provide for a price-page schedule and that the use of news- 
print for purposes other than the publication of newspapers should be prohi- 
bited. These recommendations were ultimately accepted. The revised News- 
print Control Order 1951, issued on 8th March, 1951, in place of the News- 
print Control Order, 1950, came into force on April 2, 1951. According to 
the revised Order, the daily and weekly newspapers were classified accord- 
ing to the size of the page, and il prescribed the maximum number of pages 
permissible for 7-day papers, 6-day papers and weekly papers according 
to the retail price of each copy. The Order prohibited the use of news- 
print for any purpose other than that of printing of a newspaper except 
under a general or special permission granted by the Central Goveimment. To 
enable the smaller newspapers to obtain their supplies from dealers, the 
Central Government was authorised to direct any person other than a pro- 
prietor of a newspaper, to sell or otherwise transfer any newsprint in his 
possession or under his control to such other person specified in the direc- 
tion. The proprietor of a newspaper or any other importer was required 
to give information within 7 days of the import or acquisition of newsprint. 
He was also required to submit monthly returns of newsprint consumption 
and stocks. 

293. Owing to persistent representations from the publishers of books etc., 
Government permitted the use of newsprint in sheets for purposes other than 
publication of newspapers for a period of 6 months commencing from 15th 
June, 1951. This concession was extended from time to time. Permission 
was also accorded to newspapers to publish extra pages on such festive 
occasions as Diwali, Puja etc and also on occasions of national importance 
like general elections. Independence Day etc. 

294. Towards the end of 1950, it had been anticipated that only 31,000 
tons of newsprint would be available during 1951. Actual imports, however, 
came to 64,904 tons, which was in excess of the estimated annual require- 
ment (60,000 tons). The scramble for stock-piling owing to the Korean war 


106 


seemed to be over, and there were reasonable prospects of adequate supplies 
coming in in 1952. The prices of newsprint also showed a downward move- 
ment. In the first half of 1950, the price rose from £45 to £60 a ton. In 
the second half of 1950, and in early 1951, newsprint was quoted at £74 — £80 
per ton. In September 1951, newsprint was quoted from £105 — £115 per ton. 
In March 1952, the price came down to about £80 per ton, and in August 1952 
to £55. Government liberalised the control gradually and withdrew it in 
September 1952, At present there is no control on the import, consumption 
or distribution of newsprint in the country. Both wood pulp and Newsprint 
are on the Open General Licence for import up to 30th September 1954. 

295. Manufacture of newsprint. — The possibility of manufacturing news- 
print in India has been the subject of study by a number of experts. Since 
it is a low-priced commodity, the successful manufacture of newsprint requires 
that raw material, water and power must be available in large quantities, at 
tlie factory, at very low cost. A number of trees that grow in India are 
quite suitable for the manufacture of mechanical wood pulp. The most 
commonly used trees are coniferous like pine, spruce and fir. The Indian 
varieties yield quite satisfactory pulp and it is estimated that sources in the 
Himalayas can supply up to 180,000 tons of pulp timber annually. The 
difficulty however has been the extraction of the timber from inaccessible 
heights where they grow, and the transportation to a mill. Methods developed 
recently in Switzerland for logging timber on high mountain sites by the 
use of a skyline are being studied and the Forest Research Institute authori- 
ties are understood to be planning the installation of a pilot installation for 
gaining experience of extraction under Himalayan conditions and training 
Indian workers in the method. It has been estimated that a factory located 
at Abdullapur or Pathankot in the Punjab would be able to utilise timber 
from the Himalayas. Until the method of harvesting the timber has been 
satisfactorily worked out, there does not appear to be any possibility of a 
factory being established in this area. 

296. Investigation has also been made of the suitability of pulp from, 
other plants not generally used in other countries for making mechanical 
pulp. One of these is the paper mulberry, pulp from which was succe.3sfully 
used for making trial batches of newsprint. The tree, however, is not native 
to India and so is not available in Indian forests in quantities sufficient for 
industrial exploitation. Experiments have also been made with timber of the 
wattle which is being planted in Madras State for extraction of the bark 
which is used in tanning, and the results showed it to be a suitable source of 
chemical pulp for admixture with mechanical pulp for newsprint manufacture. 
Similarly, bagasse which is a waste product of the sugar industry and Is 
being burnt under boilers for raising steam in sugar mills can be converted 
into chemical pulp of good quality. Mills established in other countries are 
already turning out paper from bagasse pulp, and one Indian mill is already 
using bagasse as a raw material for manufacture of paper and boards. 
Chemical pulp from these sources, or from others like bamboo and eta reeds 
already in use, could be used along with mechanical pulp made from cheaper 
raw materials, but the difficulty has been to locate a suitable supplies of raw 
materials for mechanical pulp. Of the sources mentioned earlier, spruce and 
fir though available in large quantities in the Himalayan ranges, offer diffi- 
culties in extraction of the timber, while paper mulbery and wattle which 
can be grown in other areas have to be planted hereafter on a very large 
scale before supplies could be available in the quantities required. Certain 
processes have, however, been worked out by which bagasse can be converted 



107 


directly into newsprint. According to estimates based on the quantity of 
sugar produced by the centrifugal process in this country, the total amount 
of bagasse available, estimated at dry weight, would be 11 million tons. To 
this may be added the quantity of bagasse left over from the production of 
gur. Less than two tons of dry bagasse are needed for manufacturing one 
ton of newsprint. It will therefore be possible with the quantity ot bagasse 
available in this country to manufacture all the newsprint that can be 
currently consumed. Before bagasse can be released for use as a fibrous 
material, it will be necessary to convert boilers in Indian sugar mills to burn, 
coal instead. Further, bagasse would be available only at a price equivaleiu 
to the value of the coal to replace it. Indian coal is however quite reasonably 
priced and one or two sugar mills have already started the manuiacture of 
paper and pulp boards from bagasse, after converting their boilers to burn 
coal. If a drive is undertaken for large scale conversion of the steam boilers, 
it sliould be possible to release the required quantity of bagasse for use as a 
source of cellulose. While India has adequate supplies of. fuel at lew price, 
it is very short of fibrous material generally and is at present importing 
cellulose fibre in various forms such as pulp for rayon manufacture, as 
readymade newsprint, and as superior grades of paper. Release of bagasse 
to serve as a raw material for one or more of these products by replacing it 
with coal as fuel would, therefore, be in the over-all national interest. We 
understand that the Government of India have already approached manufac- 
turers of chemical plants in the West to draw up blueprints for chemical 
plants for converting bagasse into one or the other of these three products. 
American experiments would appear to indicate that newsprint from bagasse 
not involving the use of chemical pulp from any other raw material, would 
yield a product comparable with newsprint made from timber, at a price 
which is not very much higher. It must be remembered in this connection 
that the United States of America has extensive areas under forest which 
can be readily harvested, while India suffers from a lack of such resources. 
Utilisation of bagasse on a large scale in place of timber for newsprint as 
well as for other products would overcome our shortage of cellulose material. 

297. The Nepa mills. — In 1947 a company was floated in Bombay for the 
manufacture of paper from raw materials available in Madhya Pradesh. 
Later the promoters decided to go in for the manufacture of newsprint. The 
factory is located near Chandiii in Madhya Pradesh and the Government of 
Madhya Pradesh are deeply interested in the scheme. They have contributed 
a large amount of capital and have also erected a power station near the 
mill for the supply of electricity. A dam has also been put up across the 
Tapti river and pumps and pipe lines laid for the supply of water to the 
milk The mill has planned to use a local wood called ‘salai’ for the manu- 
facture of mechanical pulp. Tests carried out by Research Institutes are 
reported to indicate that salai is suitable for this purpose and the company 
also plans to use another tree ‘maharukh’ which, it is expected could be 
grown in the vicinity of the mills to provide the necessary flow of raw 
material. Mechanical wood pulp is expected to be in production in the 
course of this year, and with the completion of the mill for the production of 
chemical pulp for admixture, early in 1955, the company expects to start the 
paper mill for the manufacture of newsprint in the course of that year. 
Doubts have been expressed regarding the economic soundness of tne venture. 
It is undoubtedly a fact that the original promoters did not have any clear 
idea of the capital requirements or of the cost of production. Owing to lack 
of expert knowledge and other causes, there has perhaps been some expendi- 
ture in the construction of the Mills which could have been avoided. This 


108 


would add to the cost of the newsprint when it is placed on the market 
Some difliculUes in the supply of timber or at least in the expansion of planta- 
ons migh also add to the cost, by reducing production. Still, this has been 
the only attempt so far to manufacture newsprint in this country and so n uch 
capital and eflort has been spent on the venture that it would be in the 
national interest to make it a success. “ 

298 The production of the Mills is expected to be 100 tons a day thoimi, i* 
might be some time before this figure of output is reached. Even when •in- 
ning at full capacity it will meet less than half of the country’s require- 
nients and in order to reduce our dependence on imports it may be adiis-ibk* 
start work on the installation of another mill. In view. hLever 
Jifhculties that have been met with, wo are afraid that no fresh scheme would 

t expe^ientTmrSS 

imp?rI;^aLf*'aTwe^h'' depends^ for its new.sprint .solely 

koU ;■ ’r T alcove, this dependence on imports i. 

made to tin n repro.sentations have been 

. adc to the Comini.ssion that at present under free import conditir ns lai-n. ,• 

newspapers find no difficulty in procuring their requirements from abroad bVt 

smaller newspapers whose requirements are not large enough ffi inte.;" 

overseas mills are obliged to buy their newsprint locally in the market fhrou-'h 

impor ers and dealers. This, they say, has placed them at a dSivani ,;e 

" if cannot purchase in bulk, nor make long term contracts when prices 

are lavourable. They have to buy in the spot market, and very often at hif 

f umade , ' been suggested that all imports of newsprint sho-dd 

cl utnerfhrS '^’bich imports in bulk and distributes to 

consumers in this country. 

by ffie fndifr f distribution.-In 1948 an attempt was made 
b3 the Indian Language Newspapers Association in this direction bv the 

Irm f " Society of small papers, but the experience was 

Of the LTstence o/ pnees were rising, members took advantage 

Society’s stocks Wh Purchased their requirements from the 

society .s storks. 'When however prices started falling, the members preferred 

ih market and the Society was left with large stocks whkh 

they had purchased at higher prices and for which there was no demand 
Obviously such a system would not work satisfactorily unless the members 
were committed to drawing their supplies from the society and fad d o 
deposited the necessary funds. The latter was out of the quefion in view’ 
Issffile^f'^fr^ difficulties of the small papers, and consequently it was not 
Leady ifponed stocks 

in ffifs’co!nmofhv'“w'°" be State trading 

f ife if f f f numerous arguments for and again.st 

State trading, but we are inclined to think that in the nf . u- t ‘ 

anZClaTridealf^ 

d sacf aftalff ^ tC T State trading would outweigh ‘the 

thaftefdl^^'^ problematical in view of the factors 

f a Safe Tra”df f f Production. It might therefore be of Svaffiage 

If a State Trading Corporation took over the entire output of the mills cn a 


109 





t 


I 



fair basis, and sold it, along with imported newsprint, at equated prices. It 
would be necessary for the Press to bear to some extent the cost of develop- 
ing the Indian mill and putting it on a sound basis and this can best be done 
by ensuring that the products are sold through an organisation which also 
controls all imports from abroad. 


302. The trading organisation would have to be in the form of a public 
Corporation with a Board of Directors which includes representatives of the 
publishing world who can provide expert knowledge of the requirements of 
the Press aJid of the sources of suppb^ abroad. Capital for the \enture wi 
have to be found by the State and adequate stocks will have to be maintained 
at ports. These stocks can, however, be covered by advances from banks, and 
so the capital required to be provided by the Corporation can be much ies^ 
than is required for financing the purchase from individual sources as a 
present. The arrangement could be expected to prove advantageous both 
to large and small papers and would even out the fluctuations in wot c prices 
which appear to be beyond our control. 

303. We are suggesting elsewhere the levy of a small surcharge on the 
cost of all newsprint sold in this country in order to finance the establish- 
ment of certain organisations that we consider necessary for the healtay 
development of the Press. We would suggest that this Corporation shoula 
set apart from its sales the percentage we liave suggested and turn the sum 

'over to the body to be set up. 


. 304. Composing Machinery. — In a large number of newspaper presses the 
matter to be printed is set up in type by machines histead of by liand The 
use of such type-setting machines oilers certain advantages. It is possible to 
.set up type much faster by machines than by hand. The type thu.s set up 
IS cast afresh by the machines for each occasion of use, and so the characiers 
are always well-formed and without any broken types. A newspaper whose 
tyiiesetting is done by machine is, therefore, able to present later news and 
also to produce a well-printed page which is easy to read. Typesetting 
machines may be divided into two major categories, in one of which a whole 
line of type is cast in one piece for the full width of the column, while in 
the other the types are cast separately but along with spaces wide er.oug i 
to make up the full width of the column so that they have only to be 
assembled, line by line. Three makes of machines are at present sold in the 
market; two of the line-casting type and one of the type that casts single 
characters. The former has certain limitations on the number of different 
characters that can be operated from the keyboard. The maximum which is 
90 characters in some machines and 124 characters in other models is qui e 
adequate for setting type in English where the number of characters is 
smaller, but presents certain difficulties in the case of Indian scripts winch 
have so far been using a very much larger number of characters. The 
machines that cast type singly are able to provide a much larger numbin' o 
characters, 22.'5 in the old models and 255 in the latest models. They have 
therefore been more popular with the Indian language papeis even 
their speed of operation is not as high. Attempts have been made to bring 
the total number of characters normally used in Indian scripts, within the 
capacity of the line-casting machines. In the case of Bengali ^araote^ t ie 
process has been so successful that pages set up by the A, 

as standard. In the ca.se of Tamil, the attempt has not suctfecMfed «a. e Ct(j 
same extent and in Hindi the machine is finding only gradual acceptance 
Typesetting machines casting single types are available for Devanagari, yjr.dvb 


Bengali, Gujarati, Tamil and Telugu. 


A 




\a 




CV / 


V. 




110 


305. These typesetting machines have been evolved and perfected over a 
long period, and are complicated mechanisms which call for skill and special- 
i:;ed knowledge for their manufacture. Many of the component parts need 
to be made to a high degre of accuracy, and in some cases the tolerances 
permittod are no more than one-ten-thousandth of an inch. We were told 
that there arc only three firms manufacturing such machines, who have 
factories in the United Kingdom and in the United States and that m '^nte 
of ttie very large number of advanced countries in We.stern Europe whicu 
use the same characters as in the English-speaking countries, it has not been 
found worthwhile to establish any more factories on the Continent of ^urope^ 
India’s consumption of mechanical typesetting machines is estimated at 5 
per year, which is said to represent only about 1 per cent, of the total output 
of the three companies. The manufacturers would, therefore, not be interested 
in setting up a plant in India for such limited demand. We understand that 
manufacturing plants in this countity are ndt at present equipped 
machinery for such high precision work and that therefore it would be difficult 
to undertake tlie manufacture of these machines even in collaboration wiui 
one of these three firms. The major difficulty in undertaking manufacture is 
the very small number of machines that would be needed. This applies v/i.n 
equal force to the manufacture of spare parts, though at present it is pos.sibio 
to undertake the manufacture of small parts and the simpler accessories. 
Actually, at present spare parts such as rubber rollers, fibre-pimons, 
and carbon brushes are being manufactured locally for one make of line- 
casting machines. The importers of another make of machines told us tliat 
their imports and sales of spare parts has ranged in value between 44 lakhs 
and 8 lakhs per year during the last five years. It will be seen that le 
volume of imports of spare parts is by no means very heavy and their manu- 
lacture indigenously may not be justified as a sound economic proposition. 


aOO. Machines for use in the Indian scripts are practically identical with 
machines for other scripts. In the case of line-casting machines, however, 
it is essential to use, for Indian scripts, machines which are fitted with 
auxilliary magazines accommodating 34 additional characters in order to cover 
all the characters in normal use. Hence in the case of Indian scripts, line- 
casting machines of the more complicated type with a side magazine have 
to be used instead of the simpler machines which handle only 90 characters. 
In the case of all machines, whether casting in line or in single characters, 
the major dilTerence is in the matrices which cast the type. This repre.senls 
only a small part of the total cost of the machines and even though such 
matrices for Indian scripts have no sale outside this country, the makers have 
not found it practicable to undertake their manufacture in India straightaway 
owing to the lack of the precision machinery required. This however is a 
matter for further investigation. If it is possible for committees to be set up 
to consider dispassionately the methods by which these scripts could 
be simplified and the number of characters reduced to a reasonable figure, 
the possibility would exist of Government being able to insist that the copy- 
right of the scripts should be made available to the manufacturers of type- 
setting machines only on condition that the matrices are manufactured in this 
country. » 

307. Printing Machines. — The majority of the printing machines in use in 
this country can be divided into three major categories according to the 
method used for taking an impression of the type on the paper. In the first, 
known as the platen press, the type is set on a flat surface and the paper is 
also kept flat when an impression is taken. In the second, known as the 





Ill 


flat bed machine, the page of type is still in the form of a flat but the 

paper is wound round a cylinder which rolls over the J'^.^tary press 

also as a cylinder machine. In the third category, 

type is cast in the form of a cylindrical plate, while 
wound round cylinders, the two revolving m contact to Pr°duc® t 
The first category is not capable of producing a large ^ 

per hour, particularly when sheets are fed by hand, and the size of tje pa e 
h also limited So these machines arc not used for the printing 
paS” gencSly though thor. appear to 

languages which are produced on these. T e . |y,p fioP ] 3 ed or 

weekl4 and of many of the smaller dailies is carried “"ton the flat b«l or 
cylinder machines. Almost all the larger dailies and a number of weeklies .H 
large circulation are produced on rotary presses. 

308. Imports from abroad.-No statistics are available of India’s re^are- 
monts of any of these categories of machines. Both for the 
licensing and for maintenance of customs statistics ancfllary 

are grouped together along with accessories, spare parts and anm 
machines. The figures of import for the last few years are given below. 

Value of imports during last four years 


1948- 49 , . . • 

1949- 50 . . . • 

1950- 51 • • • 

1951- 52 . . • • 

1952- 53 (April to September 52). 


(In thousands of Rs.) 
Rs. 

2,09,80 

146,49 

8ij86 

1,16,05 

27,51 


Imports, indicating the value of imports from each country 

Value in thousands of Rs.) 


Country 

1948-49 

1949-50 

1950-51 

195^-52 

1952-53 

(upto Sept.) 

United Kingdom 

Switzerland 

Germany 

United States of America . 
Others . • • * 

58,69 

1,30 

2,70 

■ 1,43,57 
; 3,54 

57,18 

66 

5,39 

74,95 

8,31 

40,46 

10 

7,70 

18,18 

15,42 

56,55 

9 

25,44 

12,27 

21,70 

17,77 

' 5,66 
61 
3-17 

Total 

2,09,80 

1.46049 

j 81,86 

1 1,16,05 

I 27,51 


amount of penlup war time demand to be filled, production appears to have 
f illen off recently We have heard some complaints also from witnesses who 

SX”" hSfu.," the poor ,u.my o< l^o 

that import of such machines has been restricted to 25 per cent, ot me 

previous figures ;» order ‘oeu^ur.ge pre- 

dS'be°nS’to°couit the opinions ot users who have hod rxo.rienee of 



112 


these machines for a number of years. Printing machines are expensive and 
are normally kept in use over a very long period of years. If the quality is 
defective, the printers are placed under a serious disability; they may not be 
able to get rid of their defective machine and go in for another but might 
have to continue to produce unsatisfactory work or in the alternative, close 
down. In the circumstances we consider it very necessary that the depart- 
ment of Government responsible for developing the production of ir'dustrial 
machinery in this country should make arrangements for evaluation of their 
quality. Production of flat bed or cylinder machines appears to be confined 
to two manufacturers in Calcutta. We understand that proposals were placed 
before the Government for the establishment of a third factory at Delhi, but 
no progress seems to have been achieved so far. Here too, Indian production 
is very small and the quality has not found wide approval. These machines 
are used not merely for the production of small newspapers and journals but 
also for job-work. It is necessary that the quality of work that they turn out 
should be comparable with that produced on imported machines. The essen- 
tial factors are use of good material and precision methods of manufacture. 
We are anxious that Indian production should be encouraged so as to make 
the country independent of imports. This encouragement should, however, 
be backed up by a service of testing, and manufacturers should also be 
induced to accept methods of quality control so that their products can be 
purchased with confidence. 

310. Rotary Presses. — Rotary presses are generally heavy machines which 
represent a considerable amount of capital investment but which in turn can 
produce a very large number of copies in a short space of time and also 
produce continuously uniform work. These machines are made in various 
sizes to suit the requirements of large and small papers. All the machines 
in use in this country have been imported, from Germany, United Kingdom 
or United States of America. It is estimated that there are about 100 rotary 
presses in use in this country of different sizes and we do not anticipate that 
annual demand for replacement, and for installation in those papers which 
v;ant to change over from flat bed printing to rotary printing, would exceed 
half a dozen machines a year. It would obviously not be economical for an 
Indian manufacturer to start on the design of such a machine solely in order 
to meet the Indian demand. We suggested to the Ministry of Commerce and 
Industry that they should ascertain whether Indian manufacturers of heavy 
machinery would be interested in undertaking the production of suitable 
machines. In reply to their circular letter, five out of six manufacturers failed 
to show any interest. The sixth realised that such a venture would need tha 
co-operation of an existing manufacturer abroad whose designs and blue-print5 
could be used for the local construction of the machine. He is reported to 
have attempted to secure such co-operation but has not succeeded. We 
consider it useful if the work of bringing together Indian manufacturers and 
foreign firms is undertaken by Government after a study of the requirements 
and the evolution of a standard design of 8-page capacity. Machines of this 
size are offered abroad for about Rs. lakhs exclusive of foundry equipment. 
We feel that if such a standard design is developed, even large newspapers 
could be persuaded to purchase several units of this size to replace their 
larger machines when such replacement falls due. 

311. In order to consider whether the installation of such machines would 
be economical even in cases where large flat bed machines of imported cons- 
truction are at present being used, we requested the experts of the Ministry 
of Works, Housing and Supply to work out the comparative cost of produc- 
tion on the two ty'pes of machines. According to their calculations, which. 


113 


wmfld'be n^Z newspaper, in this country, it 

to install a rni where the eircuialion is 10, 000 copies cr more 

co4”nl ess machines 

costs Z ilZZ the grounds of labour charges and paper 

a ■v":;y s^ort thuT-urof" advantages of rapid production witEin 

decisive fsetr. r ^ Pimting from stereo plates should also be considered 
«..ue factors favouring the installation of rotary presses It ic ncrhans 
ho limitations of finance that prevent many newspapers from .node “n ine 
the ir pres.^s by the installation of rotary machines We have disuse th^s 

coul.rbr ridravmd^ Corporation and are informed that' finance 

^ M IX made dvmldblc to newspapers for the installation of nrintine 
c( imery on the same terms as for the expansion of other industries If the 
inaniifacture of rotary presses in this country is started with as^itancc fr^nv 

fC7h7’Su's"ri?i%t'.’" mentioned before, it should be easier still 

inclustndl Finance Corporation or other such bodies to heln np«,=- 
papeis to reduce their printing cost and improve the service they provide 
l i the public by installing such machines. 




18 Mofl&B. 



CHAPTER VII 


COMMUNICATIONS AND TRANSPORT 

:n2. In the course of our enquiry into the working of the Press, we have 
looked into the facilities for communication that exist in this country and 
the extent to which they meet the requirements of the Press. We have also 
examined the facilities for distribution of newspapers and periodicals, and 
the part the.y play in the economics of the Press. 

3i:i Postal Services. - The postal services are being used largely for trans- 
mission ol reports from district correspondents, and of peria<iicaJ r ews letter.s 
from special representatives. We find that while introduction of air Iran;— 
missio.n of letters has greatly speeded up the handling of such material, the 
postage concession which is granted for surface transport of manuscripts and 
repv/!\:. for pui)iicalion has not been extended to airmail transmission. It has 
been represented to us that this extension would greatly reduce the co.st cf 
transmission; at present urgent despatches have to he paid for at the same 
rates as charged for personal corre.spondence or, in the alternative, have to 
be sent by surface Iranspoid. We I'ealise that the extension of all the con- 
cessions for surface transport of book packets and manuscripts to air transport 
also Vvenild involve a substantial loss to the post olTice. We feel, however, 
that it should l)e possible for the post office to gr.'uit the concession in respect 
of material addressed to registered newspapers. In order to avoid abuse of 
this coru'ession. they might even stipulate that the packets containing manus- 
cript materia] for publication should be addressed, in each case, not ly name 
but by de.signation, to some specified official on the staff of the newspaper. 

:i]4. Telephones. — The telephone net-work of the country is fairly extensive 
and is extended every year. It has been represented to us that difficul- 
ties are still being experienced in obtaining installation of telephones for th>' 
offices and residence of employees of newspapers. We understand tliat such 
connections are at present being given a fairly high degree of priority and 
that because of the general shortage of exchange equipment and instruments, 
some delay is bound to exist till production and installation catch up with 
the demand. In the matter of trunk telephone calls, the Press is being granted 
a rebate of 121, per cent, on all telephone calls terminating at newspaper 
offices, irrespective of the time at which they are made. Newspapermen 
represented to us that they should be given, in addition, a special concession 
for calls put through during specified hours which would suit the times of 
going to press. We have put this suggestion to the Postal and Telegraph 
authorities and are informed that such a concession would not be feasible, 
since traffic is very heavy during the periods mentioned and a concession would 
mean a substantial loss of revenue. We are. therefore, not pressing the pro- 
posal further. 

315. Telegrams. — In the matter of telegrams, we have heard many com- 
plaints that the handling of traffic is not sufficiently quick and that long 
delays occur in the transmission of telegrams. While this is a matter of impor- 
tance to newspapers, we are confident that the authorities, who are conscious 


114 


of the present delays, would be taking necessary steps in order to ensure 
-Speedier handling of telegrams and that improvements may be expected in this 
direction. In the matter of tariffs for Press telegrams, the present rates in 
this country are not merely quite low but compare favourably v/ith similar 
rates in many other countries. Once the collection and delivery of telegrams 
is speeded up. we are sure that greater and more profitable use of Press 
^lelegrams would result also in increased revenue to the Telegraph authorities. 


316. In this connection, it was mentioned to us that a certain amount of 
‘discrimination had been practised in the handling of Indian Press telegrams, 
preference having been given to foreign Press telegrams. As an instance, it 
was mentioned that Press telegrams from Nepal to Indian newspapers and 
news agenc.es had been held up on one occasion in order to give priority 
to similar telegrams addressed to newspapers and news agencies in the U.K. 
We looked into the matter and have been informed that instructions have 
been issued to telegraph offices that “urgent” foreign Press telegrams should 
♦ ake their turn with “express” inland Press telegrams and similarly “ordiuaiy” 
foreign Press telegrams should take their turn with “ordinary” inland Press 
telegrams as far as their transmission is concerned. We were also told that 
in this particular instance the complaint had arisen because these instruc- 
tions for the transmission of Press traffic had not been conveyed to the 
wireless station resulting in the delay complained of. We are also assured 
that in future such difficulties would not arise. While are anxious 
that India should be developed as a distributing centre for Press traffic 
intended for other countries, such development should not take place at the 
expense of the Indian Press traffic. We trust, therefore, that the instructions 
referred to above would be kept in mind by all telegraph offices. 


317. In the matter of Press telegrams addressed to multiple eddresses, 
certain concessions are allowed in order to assist news agencies or corresoon- 
'dents who wish to transmit the same message to a number of papers. For 
additional copies delivered from the same office as the original, only a copying 
fee is charged, but in the case of deliveries from other telegraph offices, 
charges are levied, though not at the full rates, for each additional copy. It 
would appear that formerly the concession in respect of additional copies on 
payment of only copying charges was available for telegrams delivered from 
any number of Post Offices anywhere in the country. A plea has been made 
for the restoration of this concession. The Telegraph authorities have pointed 
out that the claim for this concession is unreasonable, since a considerable 
amount of additional labour is involved in the transmission of telegrams to 
more than one office. The present concessions of 3/4 of the charges for 
the second post office, 1/2 of the charges for the third post office, and 1/4 
of the charges for the fourth and subsequent post offices is, they say. as much 
as can be economically allow^ed. We agree with this view. 

318. Teleprint»ers.~The Telegraph Department rents out telegraph circuits 
tto individual users between one point and another in the same city or between 
'different centres. The charges for such circuits in the case of individual users 
are; Rs. 60 per mile per annum for the first 25 miles, Rs. 45 for the next 475 
miles and Rs. 30 thereafter. This covers 24 hours usage, but for part-time 
renting the charges recoverable are 1/6 of the full time rental for the first 
hour and 1/24 for every additional hour. Newspapers and news agencies 
are, however, charged at the minimum rate of Rs. 30 per mile irrespective of 
the distance. These rates, which were fixed before the war and have rot been 



raised since, compare quite favourably with rates in other countries. The 
UNESCO recently made a comparison of the rates in different countries and 
taking as their standard Norway, which had the lowest rental, have arrived 
at the following relative figures; 


Norway . . . . . . . . . i • o 

Denmark . . . . . . . 105 

France . . . . . . . . 1-23 

Sweden . . . . . . . . . 1*25 

India . 1*35 

Holland . . . . . . . . 1*50 

United Kingdom . . . . . . 1-52 

Germany . . . . . . . 1*79 

Belgium . . . . . . 2-82 

Switzerland . . . . . . . 3-43 


We understand that further reduction in Uie rates prevailing in India would 
be uneconomical. 

.119. It has been suggested to us that a distinction should be made between 
news agencies and newspapers in the rental charged for such circuits and 
that news agencies w'hich function on behalf of a number of newspapers 
should be charged a lower rate than individual newspapers. We are unable 
to accept the logic of this argument, since on the grounds advanced it might 
well follow that news agencies should pay a higher rate and not lower! The 
suggestion was that the reduction should be made as a measure of assistance 
to news agencies. While we agree that news agencies should be helped to 
put themselves on a sound footing, we ft^el that assistance should not be 
provided by a subsidy of this nature from a commercial undertaKing like the 
Telegraph department. 

: 120 . Instances have been brought to our notice where the lines rented out 
to news agencies and newspapers have been misused and private and business 
messages have been transmitted on these circuits. This has naturally been a 
legitimate giiev’^ance for the P. & T. Department who feel that in the name of 
the Press they are thus deprived of their proper revenue. The management 
of the news agencies have admitted that this practice has come to their notice 
and have assured us that they are taking steps to put a stop to it. We 
consider that the Telegraph Department would be justified in monitoring those 
circuits which they suspect are being misused and in taking strong action' 
against the offenders. 

321. We were informed that a State Government had entered into an 
arrangement with a news agency whereby press releases, issued by that 
Government, are distributed by the news agency on their teleprinter network 
to the District Publicity Officers of the Government. The news agency were 
said to be receiving a substantial payment for this service. We are not quite 
clear whether such use of their circuits is permitted or contemplated by the 
agreement with the Posts and Telegraphs Department. We were informed 
that these press releases very often held up the lines and, as a result, the 
normal news services distributed by the agency were delayed and .lewspapers 
suffered in consequence. We are, therefore, not in favour of such arrange- 
ments. 


.ji,2 For use on these telegraph circuits the Telegraph Department rent 
out teleprinter machines on an annual rental of Rs. 1,000 per instrument. We 
understand that, at present costs, there i.s not much scope for reduction of 

ese^ c.iarges. Even now this rate is considerably lower than that charged 
by the news agencies for similar renting of instruments. The Posts and 
Telegraphs Department have assured us that they would have no objection 
to renting out instruments for the reception of messages from news agencies or 
even to the news agencies themselves. We hope that newspapers and news 
agencies would make greater use of this facility, particularly for handling 
press telegrams also, and that with the growing use of teleprinter instrument;; 
m major cities and towns, the overhead charges on maintenance and servicing 
of etjuipment would be reduced making it possible for the Telegraph Depart! 
men! to reduce their charges for the renting of teleprinters. 

The lir.st cost of the instruments is high, and expenditure ou spare 
parts is also substantiai. We understand that the Telegraph Department is 
contemplating the setting up of a factory for the manufacture of teleprinters 
in this country and that proposals have been called for from leading manu- 
facturers in Europe to associate themselves witli this project. When the 
schemes have been examined carefully, we trust it would be possible to arrive 
at a satisfactory arrangement for the manufacture of these instruments in 
India. We note that according to thc^ present proposals it is the intention that 
teleprinters manufactured in this country will be available for sale to the 
public as well as to government offices. This should substantially leduce the 
cost of teleprinter (.peratiun both for news ageiudes and for newspapers where 
they prefer to buy their own instruments instead of renting them. 

Teleprinters for Indian Scripts ~Ai present, teleprinters are avajlable 
only in tlie Roman script, but with growing importance of Indian languages, 
the question ^has been rai.sed of teleprinters for Indian scripts, principally 
devanagart. The Telegraph Department are engaged on the design of suitable 
teleprinters for the nagari script. We understand that technologically the 
problem has been solved, but more is yet to be done to make the instruments 
economical in operation by increasing the speed of transmission. In view of 
the considerable similarity that exists between the alphabets of Indian 
languages, we expect that a solution for nagari would automatically read to 
su. table solutions for the other Ixidian scripts also, 

ilLhl. We understand that recently Hindustan Samachar have taken over 
two of these machines at a nominal rental of Rs. 10 for a period of six months, 
to be tried out on a circuit between Delhi and Patna, which has been rented 
for a period of three hours per day. Hindustan Samachar is not using any 
other machines on that circuit and would not find it possible to say whethicr 
difficulties, which the.y ma.y experience, are associated with the line itself or 
with the instruments. A report is expected from the agency at the end of the 
period and this might help further development of Hindi teleprinter operation. 

d26. In this connection wc have been rather surprised at the attitude 
reported to have been taken by responsible individuals in the n atter of 
adaptation ol the script for use on teleprinters and typesetting machinery. A 
great deal has been said in praise of the ‘‘scientific nature” of Indian scripts 
and of their beautiful appearance. A distinction should have been made 
between the alphabet, which is almost identical for all Indian languages includ- 
ing Sanskrit, and which is perhaps the most logical in the world, and the 
scripts which, though originating probably from a common root, have deve- 
loped differently in different parts of the country. According to the media 


118 


used for writing, scripts have been modified locally from the original forms in 
stone inscriptions, to suit the nature of the varieties of palm leaves u.sed, and 
further modified after the introduction of paper. It certainly cannot be said 
that any of the scripts, much less all of them, are “scientific” in the real 
sense of the term. Moreover, the feeling of “beauty” which presumably all 
of them inspire in their users, is. to a considerable extenh based on famiharily. 
and it cannot be said that one is more beautiful than the other, or even that 
any one of them is based on aesthetic consideration.s. On the other hand it 
can definitely be said that from the point of view of fast reading, some of 
the scripts are definitely not functional in that they do not permit quicx 
identihcation from partial perception. A certain degree of adaptation to t le 
use of nev/ media would be not merely logical but in accordance with histoiy, 
since no script has remained unchanged for all time. 


327. An interesting development, pending the introduction of teleprinters 
for Indian .scripts has been the use of Roman script on teleprinters for the 
transrni.ssion of message ; .n Indian languages. While we realise that t lus 
cannol be a long term solution and that the develo.,.-.ient of teleprmter.s^ .or 
Indian script.s must be e.cpedited, we must congratulate those who h..vt. 
brought siichi transliteration into everyday use. 


328. Overseas Radio and Cable. — We have referred so far only to inte.na! 
communications. A sub.stantial proportien of the contents of new.sp:ip.-rs 
comes from abroad in the form of both news agency messages and corres- 
pondents’ despatches. In the case of the former, the practice usually i.s for 
the agenc es abroad to transmit the news for multiple address raceparm. 
leaving the recipients t.i make their own arrangements for picking up the 
messages Reuters send out their news service by Hellschreibcr, and Ageiice 
Fram e Press which at present is using. morse code transmission is undersmod 
to be planning to introduce teletype (teleprinter) operation shortly. Both 
these services come by radio and not by cable, and arc picked up by ivireles.s 
receiving stations cstabli.shed by the Telegraph Department m Bombay and 
Delhi respectively. News agencies in India pay the Department a charge 
based on the monthly wordage handled. The tariff is given bciow. 


Rs. As. Ps. 


4,000 words per month 
Second 4,000 words per month 
Tliird ” ” ” ■ 

Next 14,000 
Above 26,000 


0 I o 

009 
006 
004 
o O . 


This tarilT is subject to a ininimurn charge of Rs. 1,500 per month which ui 
fact, makes the tarifl look illogical: no si.griificancc can be a^tachod to V'e 
earlier slabs since tbe minimum charge covers more than 30.000 words. We 
hVve b(Hm unable to obtain from the Telegraph Department an estimate of 
wbat the operation of tire receiving stations actually costs, but we feel that 
the present char.ges are very high. 

329. Under the international agreement which was concluded at tl o 
Bermuda Tele(‘ommunications Conference of Decembe? 1945, and which was 
reahirmed and extended at the London Conference in August 1949, Govern- 
ments of the United States, United Kingdom and Canada agreed to permit, 
whhin their respective territories, the private reception of multiple address 


press radio coninuinioalions either through the recipient’s own radio receiving 
installations or through other private installations. The principle is very 
important for the development of such services, but is far from being generally 
accepted. India had no doubt said, even at the Bermuda conference, that she 
was prepared to arrange for reception only b^^ Telegraph stations and insisted 
on retaining the power to exercise discretion as to the granting of permission 
to private recipients for the reception of such comiTiunications. In the objec- 
tion to private in.slailations, India’s position was shared by other Common- 
wealth f'oimtries, such as Australia, New Zealand and South Africa, and even 
the United Kingdom claimed this reservation in respeC, of colonial teirilnries. 
If f ere are any fundamental dilTiculties in the way of permitting private 
reception of multiple address news services, we recommend that they should 
be examined again and means found to get over them. If lliis is not ijossible, 
it is essential that the tarill should be revised and fne charges substantially 
reduc'ed so as to cover only the cost of operation. 

g.'d). In the case of despal(‘lie.^: from corre.spondents abroad, lran8mi.ssion 

ivy radio or oabie at press rales. Between countries of the Commonwealth 
the rate is 1 d. a word or its approximate equivalent. The charges for trans- 
mission to other countries are. however, con.'^iderably higher. Some examples 
are quoted below with the chargis^ tor Iransnnssion to and from London also 
quoted alongside: 



Indian rate-^ 

I.ondon rates 


Rs. 


Cairo .... 

c < 6 

d. per vord 

Teheran 

o 5 0 

4 d. 

Djakarta 

o 6 6 

6 d. 


g.'Il. Owing to such disparities in taritls, it becomvs more economic:)! in 
many cases to route the messages from or to India via London, so that one 
leg of the journey is covered at the Commonwealth rate of 1 d. a word and 
the other leg at the sijecial rate ch.arged by Londen. As a result of this 
position, a considerable volume of mes.sages even though (“oming from 
countries adjacent to Indl.i with which India has considerable contacts, 
is now being routed via London. We are informed that the question of nego- 
tiating bilateral arrangements with different countries so that rates for 
transmission either wa.^' are substantially reduc'cd ha.s alread.y been taken up 
by fne Governmenl of India. We are convinced that an early solution which 
brings about a substantial reduction in international telegraph charges is 
essential for the development of the Press and of news agencies ii> this 
country. We aie confident that fne Indian news agcncie.s would then bo able 
to extend their coverage* to a number of countries in Asia and Africa, fit'reby 
fostering mutual understanding. We expect it veil be necessary at the same 
lime to iinpr VC the cxisling techmcal facilities for transmission and recept'on, 
so that messages are not heff up for long periods awaiting fie ooening of 
the beam se-’vice to particular countries. We understand that at. pr:*sent this 
lack or a service round the clock is a handicap to the Press Trust of Innia in 
devs'looing the sale of their news service abroad. 

Transporia.tioii of newspapers. — The distribution of newsoaper c.ipies 
f trough public means of transportation is carried out mainly tliroiurh r)f>s-tal, 
railway and air services. Of the.se the po.‘dal service is if discd rn:iip!y foi' 
reaching stray subscribers in remote areas, while raihvay and air v.".'vice , are 
I'tifsed for di-sfdbution of copies in bulk to agents or sales representatives 


120 


who undertake the retail delivery of copies to regular subscribers and 
customers. 

333. The charges for transport by post are very low in this country. It is 
no doubt necessary for a paper to conform to certain regulations prescribed 
by the Post Office but once this has been done, the periodical is registered and 
thereafter it is entitled to the concessional rates of postage which is only 3 
pies for the first unit of ten tolas. According to the calculations of the Post 
and Telegraph Department, it costs the post office more than six times this 
amount to carry and deliver a single copy of newspaper, and the loss to the 
post oOice in 1952-53 on account of this concession was Rs. 112 lakhs. The 
concession given to the Press is thus really substantial, and there appears 
to be no case for lowering the rate. 

334. The Post Office also undertakes transport of copies in bulk to agents 
on certain prescribed conditions, but at present this facility does not appear 
to be availed of to any (‘onsiderable extent, probably because in the case of 
despatch of a sufficiently large number of copies, railway transport works out 
considerably cheaper. Some other concessions available for postal despatch 
of newspapers in other countries have also been made available in this 
country, such as despatch with the minimum of wrapping or packing. Others 
such as the rigid to hand over of large batches of copies to the post office for 
house to house distribution are not available. In view. howe\er. of the high 
cost of distril)ut ion that the post office has to incur, we are unable to recon'i- 
mend the grant of the last concession here, particiiiarl}’ since distribution 
can be effected Ihrougli a news agent much more econormcally where a large 
number of copies are involved. 

335. For transport by rail, the charges in the case of newspapers are the 
same as for certain other categories of commodities failing under the same 
classification. Thest' charges are reasonable and no case has been made out, 
for any concessions. It was, however, brought to our notice that the .-nininium 
charge in the case cf railway transport is as for 10 lbs, which in the case of 
a\'erage newspaper of (> to 8 pages would mean about 100 copies. It was 
said that in the case of parcels containing less than this number of copies, 
the charges work out proportionately much higher. It is for consideratio'i 
of the railways whether the minimum weight charged for could bo reduced 
and, if so, whether any “statisticaT' charge will have to be made on each 
consignment to cover administrative expenditure on the handling of packages, 
which would be constant irrespective of the size of the package. 


33(i. Air transport. — In the case of transport by air. newspapers are sent 
as freight at the regular cargo rate. The Air Transport Association of India 
have agreed to a concession of 25 per cent, in the case of newspaper parcels. 
The minimum freight charge would be as for 5 lbs., but the statistical charge 
1 $ waived in the case of newspapers. Taking newsprint of a substance of 
52-54 grams per square metre and of the standard size of 17''X23", the follow- 
ing number of copies would go within the limit of 5 lbs.: 


12 pages 
10 pages . 
8 pages . 
6 pages . 
4 pages . 


27 copies 
33 copies 
40 copies 
54 copies 
80 copies 



Here, as in the case of railway parcels, the number of copies required to make 
up the minimum package is rather high, but in view of the fact that air 
transport is used only for reaching major cities and towns where the number 
of copies to be sold would be higher than the average, there seems to oe n-> 
reason to make any changes. 

3:t7. It has been represented to us that while the average cost of distribu- 
tion of a copy through the post or railway does not exceed 10 per cent, of the 
net value of the papers, and has been accepted as expenditure to be borne l)y 
the publishers, the charges for air transport, which proportionately are very 
much higher, should really be passed on to the consumer as a surcharge. 
Otherwise, finaiuhally strong metropolitan papers would, if they make no sur- 
charge. be in a position to compete unfairly with provincial papers. We 
understand that the majority of metropolitan papers have agreed to charge 
half an anna on each copy delivered by air beyond a certain dis lance and 
that the complaint made to us applied only to one or two paper.s which, in 
order to gain a footing in new territories, had waived the surcharge. We 
consider such a practice undesirable as it constitutes unfair competition and 
should be stopped. The distance up to which no surcharge is levied should 
also be fixed and should not, at current freight charges, exceed 500 air miles. 

Road Transport. — We came across instances where certain newspapm’s 
had employed their own road transport for dc.spatch ot copies to other centres,. 
In the United. Kingdom, papers are despatched from London by spernal trains, 
but the arrangements are shared by a number of national newespapers published 
from that city and expenses are divided. The use of road transport in India 
has, however, developed as a purely individual venture aimed at ^..ecuring, 
for one paper, advantages not available to others. We have no desire to dis- 
courage initiative but w^ould suggest that even in the case of road transport, 
a co-operative arrangement on the lines of the United Kingdom practice 
might he more beneficial to the industry as a whole. 

339. In areas where train services are not available or are very slow, 
small batches of copies are distributed by regular bus services. We feel that 
greater use should be made of road transport in order that newspapers can 
reach remote towns and villages quickly and economically. It is understood 
that such use of transport greatly assisted the development of newspapers in 
Travancore. In one particular instance, of trarrsport from Bombay to Poona, 
it was represented to us that transport of metropolitan papers by State bus 
transport to Poona alTected the development of local papers. We are unable 
to accept this contention. We have found that in every part of India, local 
papers, when they have something special to oiler, either by way cf local 
newes or comment on topics of local interest, have alwa.ys succeeded in compe- 
tition with metropolitan papers which lack such local colour. To ban the 
transport of newspapers by any one particular means of public (onveyance 
appears illogical and unnecessary. The results of the Sample Survey have 
shown that a large number of households in rural areas are at pre.sent doing 
without a paper only because distribution of copies is not done efficiently and 
they cannot readily get copies in their locality. We would therefore urge the 
circulation departments of all newspapers to pay special attention to this 
aspect and to utilise every means of tran.sport to its fullest capabilities. 


CHAPTER VIII 


News Agencies 

;>4(). Function of news agencies. — A news agency has been defined by the- 
United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation as “an under- 
taking of which the principal objective, whatever its legal form, is to gather 
news and news material, of which the sole purpose is to express or present 
facts and to distribute it to a group of news enterprises and, in exceptional 
circumstances, to private individuals with a view to providing them with as 
complete and impartial a news service as possible, against payment and under 
conditions compatible with business laws and usage”. The basic function of 
a news agency is to provide news reports of current events to the newspapers 
and others who subscribe for its service. As would be apparent from this 
description, it acts only as an agent for collection. It is, therefore, expected 
to have integrity and disinterestedness. The All India Newspaper Editors'' 
Conference defines the function of a news agency as providing objective and 
comprehensive news coverage to its subscriber-newspapers. The Federation 
of Working Journalists and the Press Trust of India Employees’ Unions accept 
the responsibility of news agencies to collect and distribute factual news to 
newspapers. But we consider it essential that the service provided by the 
news agency should be objective, comprehensive and accurate. 

341. Selection o4* news. — Since it is obviously impossible for a news agency 
to report every happening, it is inevitable that there should be a measure of 
selection, and such selection must be based on certain principles. The guiding 
factor is usually taken to be the “news value”, which the All India News- 
paper Editors’ Conference defines as what interests the public. We feel that 
news value does not mean merely the appeal to the reader.s and that the 
significance of the event should also be taken into consideration. Selection of 
news takes place at many stages. The primary selection is carried out by 
the correspondent.s who act under the general directions of the headquarters 
of the news agency. The news received at the headquarters is then edited 
and a further selection is made before distribution to subscribers. Since the 
rorrcrpondenls also seo' a copy of the item as finally edited and distributed, 
they become aware of what has been discarded or retained. This acts as a 
sort of directive to the correspondents, giving them an indication of the type 
of items that are considered acceptable by the headquarters and the manner 
of pre.^entation that they favour. So even where no special directions are 
given to the correspondents, their daily contact with the service tends to 
guide them along certain lines even in the primt'iry selection of material. 
This nrocess has thus a cumulative efi'ect and after some time leads to cor- 
respondents keeping back items which they apprehend would not be distri- 
buted by the headquarters. This process of guiding the correspondents W''u1d 
be unol)jectional)lo if the editing at ihe headquarters was confined only to the 
rejection of trivial items which do not merit report. It may, on the other 
hand, result in difius'ng the editorial bia.s at headr-uarters to every corces- 
X}onc!eTit. Then the subscribers, and through them the public, have a right to 



128 


object. We have referred elsewhere to the instances where the bias of 
reporter and of the headquarters of the news agency has tended to stress 
certain items or to exclude others, llie reporter is often politically minded 
and consequently his despatches tend to give greater weight to politics. 
Since the news agencies also have not adjusted themselves to the new set-up 
where politics, though still the most important sector of public interest, has 
to share space With items of economic, social and cultural interest, the re- 
ports tend to give far too much emphasis to political subjects, including , 
political speeches. 

342. In the selection of political news, we are glad to be able to say that 
the Indian news agencies have been generally fair to various points of view, 
and, in the course of the evidence, we came across very few complaints on 
this score. But while the opposition had been treated fairly, there prevails 
an impression that it had not been treated equitably in the matter of length 
of coverage and that, in consequence, opposition points of view do not get 
as much publicity as they deserved. While this is not a subject on which 
it is possible to be specific and pin-point instances, we would draw the alieri- 
tion of the news agencies to this impression on the part of the subscribers 
and the public. 

343. Freedom from bias in selection. — We have referred in the chapter on 
Pressu: e and Bias to the fact that news agencies have not been immune to 
outside influences and that where big business interests are involved in 
criminal prosecutions, there has been no noticeable alertness on the part of 
these news agencies to cover such cases as promptly as the public has a 
right to expect. As purveyors of news, the news agencies should not merely 
keep themselves free from bias and follow strictly the principles of integrity, 
objectivity and comprehensiveness in the coverage of news, but it should 
also appear clear to the newspapers, and to the public, that the news agencies 
are maintain ng such a course. 

344. it follows from what we have already said that a news agency 
should not have any specific editorial policy of its own in the sense in which 
the term is generally understood. The All India Newspaper Editors' Con- 
ference have emphasised the fact that the agency has to cater to subscribers 
of diverse and contradictory political views and therefore it is suicidal for 
an agency to trim or select its news to suit the interests of any particular 
set of clients. The Federation of Working Journalists have also emphasised 
the necessity of not being influenced by the interests of prejudices of clients; 
it should be left to them to pick and choose from the news supplied. It is 
true that a huge proportion of the revenues of the news agency comes from 
those papers which favour the majority point of view and that the tempta- 
tion to please these cl'ents would always be present. It should, however, 
be the responsibility of the editorial staff of a news agency not to let them- 
selves be insidiously drawn into favouring a particular point of view. 

345. New.s value. — On the que.stion whether the news agency should be 
gii ded solely by consideration of news value of the event or should also 
keep in view certain overall interests of the state or of society, the evidence 
has not been quite unanimous. All are agreed that a nows agency must 
abide by the laws of the country as well by the code of professional conduct. 
The All India Newspaper Editors’ Conference have also stressed in addition 
the responsibility of the news agencies to society and to the state, and certain 
State Governments have also emphasised this aspect of the matter. The 


-federation of Working Journaiists had no specific comment to oiler. The 
Federation of Press Trust of India Employees’ Unions have stated that due 
consideration should always be given where national or social interests are 
involved. The view of the Principal Information Officer of the Government 
of India is that “as social, political and economic changes take place, as 
democracy develops, and as loyalty to a larger area or a larger number of 
people begins to develop, news value must undergo change. Old news values 
cramped by limited loyalties or narrow interests, if mechanically or deliberate- 
Jy adhered to, can only run contrary to the broad currents of national life, 
thus creating a conflict without serving any enduring human interests”. We 
are in agreement with the view that the broader interests of state and 
society must be present in the minds of every reporter and editor, whether 
in a news agency or in a newspaper, but we cannot agree that any evil that 
is present would cease to exist if every one would refrain from talking about 
it, reporting it. or publishing reports of it. Conformity with the broad cur- 
rents of national life cannot, in our opinion, be a criterion of news value. 
We wish to stress in this connection the requirement that the news agency 
service should be both comprehensive and adequate, and to merit this des- 
cription, it should not refrain from reporting an event which goes against 
the general trend or disturbs national self-esteem. A mood of self-satisfied 
complacency such as can be induced by persistently ignoring reversals in 
the trend or local deviations therefrom can prove more dangerous than even 
the mild confusion that miglijt be c-reated by a picture of all the conflicting 
trends in the country. After all, it is for the newspapers themselves to 
present these reports in a coherent picture of the country and to draw the 
attention of the readers to the real significance of the events, ft is not for 
the news agency to take upon itself this responsibility. 

346. In the matter of reporting wc have considered the question whether 
the news agency should confine itself to a selection of the facts which they 
consider are of news value or report all relevant facts of any significance. 

A certain degree of selection is inevitable, and however proper it would be 
for the news agency to give all relevant facts, practical considerations re- 
quire that some be left out. A selection has therefore to be made on the 

■basis of the importance and priority attached to individual facts. 

34 7. Commeiit in reporting. - On the question of comment, there is wide- 
spread agreement that news agencies should eschew any comment in their 
services, and we accept this view. The privilege of commenting should be 
left to newspapers. But while the news agency reports what has happened 
without condemning or justifying the event, a certain amount of objective 
reporting explaining how it came to happen would appear to be legitimate. 
Where the correspondent quotes the comment of some one else, such com- 
ment would be proper provided the source is definitely attributed in the 
despatch itself. While we would prefer that there should be no comment 
from the reporter, we are also aware that such comment can, without being 
specifically made, be implied by the wording of a despatch. To say that 
one person made an “impressive speech” or that another “let loose a tirade” 
would be expressions of personal comment. In cases where such comment 
cannot be eliminated from the despatch, we feel that the source of such com- 
ment should be made clear. Newspapers often fail to identify the source 
by a credit-line, but where a published report contains comment, explicit 
or implied, it is only fair to the reader to point out that the comment is 
from the correspondent of this news agency or that. 


348. International news. — The need for objectivity and a(‘euracy covipied 
with freedom from any sort of bias or comment is most pronounced in the 
case of international news. In this connection it is necessary to emphasise 
that there is no news agency of a truly international character winch can 
be expected to cover such news without any national bias. 

349. Before World War II, a small number of big agencies had shared 
out among themselves the functions of news collection and distribution in 
the principal regions of the world. Today the activities of the.se news agencies 
have extended both in the national and in the international sphere, and 
their service has improved through the resulting competition. Still, it can- 
not be said that these services have really acquired an international outlook 
or got rid of their national character. The six world news agencies operating 
today are Reuters in the United Kingdom. Agence France Presse in France, 
Associated Press of America, United Press of America and International News 
Service in the United States, and Tass in the Soviet Union. These have 
set up organisations which cover more or less the entire globe and hav^e 
been aided in such expansion by the fact that the countries in which they 
have their headquarters are very highly developed technically and have also 
fi strong Press which demands and can pay for a world wide news service. 
Expanding from this domestic market, they have undertaken distribution 
of their services in a great number of countries cither directly or through 
the national agencies functioning in these territories. Their capital, their 
chief executives, and the majority of their staff are, however, drawn from 
their own countries, and the news they collect and distribute is also selected, 
written up and presented almost entirely to suit the requirements of their 
own nationals; as matters stand at present, it is not possible for any news- 
paper anywhere in the world to obtain reports of world events except as 
seen through the eyes of their employees. It follows that however impartial 
they might try to he. and however strictly they conform to the professional 
code of ethics, they will necessarily judge news and* present it from the 
viewpoint of their own countries, 

::;50. An international agency. — The United Nations Educational, Scientific 
and Cultural Organisation, in their recent publication on the subject of News 
Agencies, have asked whether these news agencies which are international 
only in the scope of their activities may not one day find it necessary to 
adopt a policy of international co-operation and also look at news from a 
truly international standpoint. Having rejected the possibility of creating 
a world agency under the appropriate body of the United Nations as likely 
to meet the opposition of the majority of the profession (who would refuse 
to use the services of an agency organised even indirectly under govern- 
mental control) they have recommended the possibility of a world co- 
operative agency in which newspapers and broadcasting stations of all coun- 
tries would be shareholders, countributing an assessment in proportion to their 
circulation in the case of newspapers, and in proportion to their national 
audience, in the case of the broadcasting stations. They express the hope 
that as the capital structure, the directorate, the editorial staff, the corres- 
pondents and the operators, are thus made international the news agency 
would be able to collect and distribute a news service in a manner, as free 
as possible from any national influence. Their suggestion is that this co- 
operative international news agency should draw upon the services of a 
large number of national’ agencies that exist today and that spurred by the 
rivalry of the major world agencies at present in existence, this cooperative' 
agency would be able to provide a service competitive in speed and quality.. 



126 


We are inclined to consider it extremely unlikely that the pronouncedly 
r nationalistic viewpoint of the bulk of the world’s newspapers v/ould provide 
the proper atmosphere in which such an agency can be brought into exist- 
' ence. 


351. Views of Press on present world agencies. — Summing up the evidence 

that has been placed before us on the character of the services now provided 
by the world news agencies, we are of the view that the news service sup- 
plied by Reuters is accepted by the Press as objective except 

where British interests were principally involved. News supplied by 
Tass, the Central News Agency of China, and the Agence France 
Presse was considered to be influenced by the foreign policy of the 

country to which each agency belonged. The Associated Press of 
America does not function at present in this country as a source 
of international news and the United Press of America has shown 

a definite slant whlfch was particularly pronounced in the news des- 

patches from Korea, where, by reason of their special advantages, they were 
able to provide a service well in advance of that from other agencies. Of 
the other services, the Globe (Near and Far East News Agency) service is 
valued only for the “human interest stories” and “fillers” that it provides. 
The Arab News Agency does not have any new'spapor subscriber. 

352. Freedom of international flow of news. — This general verdict of the 
Press which we have quoted should not, however, be taken as indicating 
our agreement with everyone of these impressions or as suggesting that there 
should be any interference with the operation of the foreign news agencies 
whose services are made available to the Indian Press. We are convinced 
that it is essential for an Indian Agency to develop its coverage of foreign 
news by installing its own correspondents at the major foreign capitals and 
using their dospatclus to supplement and correct, wherever necessary, the 
services of the world agencies. But there should be no restriction on the 
flow of foreign news from whatever source it comes. It should be left 
entirely to the discretion of the editors of Indian newspapers to accept or 
reject material supplied by foreign news agencies or even by the Indian 
agency. 

353. There has been no evidence of any discrimination being exercised 
in favour of or against foreign news agencies or of their competing unfairly 
with Indian agencies in this country. In the matter of technical facilities 
within the country, we are of the opinion that while priority sihould be 
given to domestic news agencies, once their requirements have been met 
the needs of foreign agencies should be freely satisfied. Such an arrange- 
ment would be in conformity with the convention on International Trans- 
mission of News adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 1949, 
which under Article Xll provides inter alia. “Nothing in the present con- 
vention shall be construed as preventing a contracting State from taking 
measures to help the establishment and development of independent domestic 
information agencies or to prohibit practices tending to create monopolies.” 
In the matter of employment in these foreign news agencies, we find that 
the number of Indians engaged as reporters, correspondents or editors is 
very small. Moreover, in certain cases, they have been employed purely on 
linguistic grounds because the nationals of the country to which the agency 
belongs could not provide one who knoVs the particular language required. 
We feel that this is not sufficient and that more than in the case of foreign 

/.commercial or industrial concerns operating in this country, proper repre- 
sentation for India is essential on the staff of news agencies. We suggest 



127 


to Government that they should call for periodical returns of the number 
.of Indians thus employed, in India, by the agencies which operate here or 
which sell their services here and insist on India being properly represented 
in each category of the editorial staff especially in the higher ranks. The 
•Convention on International Transmission of News to which we have already 
referred, contains a reservation that nothing in the said Convention should 
be construed as prejudicing the adoption by a contracting State of any 
legislation requiring that a portion of the staff employed by foregin enter- 
prises operating in its territory shall be composed of nationals of that State. 
In the case of Tass we were informed that it is the invariable practke of 
that agency to employ in the reporting and editorial staff, only nationais 
of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics in every part of the world. We 
feel that whatever its policy might be in the general case, it would be propei 
to insist that a portion of the staff employed within India should consist 
of Indian nationals. 

354. Indian news agencies. — There are at present in his country two 
major nev.*s agencies, Uie Press Trust of India and the United Press of 
India, and a third, Hindustan Samachar, which is not really comparable to 
the other two and which at present can provide only a meagre service, 
though it has some ft^atures of its own. Before v/e go into an examination 
of these individual news agencies, we may at the outset state certain lunda- 
menial points regarding news agencies as a whole. 

355. Howev6?r olyjective a news agency sets out to be, there are certain 
drawbacks which arise from a monopoly and which could be obviated only 
by a competitive service available freely to all users. We are of the opinion 
that it is thevrefore nf'cessary to have more tlian one news agency lunctioning 
in the counlry. The second new^s agency can always serve as a check on 
the first. In most other ad\eanced counliaes, the major nev/spapeis have such 
an extensive staff of correspondents in every large city or town that it is 
possible for them to bring out their papers without depending much on the 
lievvs agencies. In India such a development does not appear to be likely 
in the immediate future. The total circulation of all newespapers depends 
inevitably upon factors like literacy and national income, w^hich are capable 
only of gradual improvement and this sets a definite limit to the resources 
that can be diverted to the function of gathering new^s. As a direct conse- 
quence, it will be necessary for most, if not all, new^spapers in India to 
depend very greatly on the service of a new^s agency. In many cases, district 
papers do not have representative even at the capital of their own State 
and even some provincial papers are unable to afford a coricspondent at the 
capital of the Union. Most papers depend greatly on news agencies. It i.s 
therefore necessary to have at least two news agencies, and each of them 
.should be adequate and also reliable. We would not, therefore, accept the 
assumption that if one agency is satisfactory, the other can be neglected. 

.355. State control of news agencies. — Another fundamental point that w’c 
would emphasise is that the news agencies should not be state-owned or 
state-controlled. Referring to foreign news agencies, we have had occasion 
to mention the suspicion (the existence of which the United Nations Educa- 
tional, Scientific and Cultural Organisation has recognised) of the Press all 
over the world in the matter of Government interference with news agencies. 
The fact that the Government is our own does not make the slightest differ- 
ence to the basic objection to any sort of Government control or interference. 
Witnesses who have appeared before us have also stressed this point and 
urged that Government should not participate in the ownership or control 
vof any news agency. 


12S 


357 . State assistance. — This does not necessarily rule out the possibility 
of news agencies obtaining assistance from the State. Assistance has been 
provided in other countries when a national news agency found itself in 
difficulties. But it is essential, if Indian agencies are to function satisfac- 
torily, that any assistance from the state should have no strings attached 
and the state should not have any voice in the control of the agency either 
editorially or administratively. 

358 Present coverage of Indian and international news.— We have carried 
out an analysis of the full services provided by the Press Trust of India 
and United Press of India on 14 days selected at random in the first quarter 
of 1953 . For the purpose of this analysis, we divided Indian news coverage 
into two sections; national news, and State and local news, on the same 
lines as for our analysis of the newspaper content, described in Chapter XIV. 
Under each of these categories news is classified under ten different heads. 
An abstract of the position is given below in Table I which gives the number 
of lines of messages creeded by the Press Trust of India and United Press 
of India under different heads. (An average line of teleprinter message 
contained about nine words.) 


Table I 

Average output in lines per day 


National News 


(0 Political ...... 

(a) Cultural 

(m) Social and educational . , . . 

{iv) Financial, commercial and economic 
(v) Sport ....... 

(vt) Scientific, technological and industrial . 
ivni) Law (including Law Courts and Police), 

dents and natural calamities. 

(viii) Statements and speeches . 

iix) Personalities .... 

(x) Other subjects . . . . 


crime, acci- 


Pres^ Trust Unite J Press 
of India of India 

average lines average lines 
per day per day 

289-7 192-3 

22-9 6.7 

86-4 190 

3 18 7 114-5 

246 4 S7-9 

28-1 

58 2 2r-6 

245-5 2469 

82 6 42*3 

127- o 19*0 


1533 • 5 778-3 


State and Local news: 


Press Trust United Pre 
of India of India 

average lines average lines 
per day per day 


(0 Political . . , . . 

{it) Cultural ...... 

(mV) Social and educational 

(iv) Financial, commercial and economic 

(v) Sport 

(vi) Scientific, technological and industrial . 
{vii) Law (including Law Courts, and Police), 

dent and natural calamities 
{viii) Statement and speeches 
{ix) Personalities . . . . . 

{x) Other subjects 


crime, acci- 


411 9 

142 - 0 

i 8‘4 

7-6 

50-2 

17 I 

157- 1 

34-5 

195-0 

51*6 

27-3 

5-7 

120 8 

53 ’9 

216 4 

58-9 

29- 3 

17-9 

105- 1 

26*9 

1331 -5 

4161 



Similar analysis of tlio foreign news distributed by these two agencies yield- 
ed the following figures: — 

Table II 

Average output iit hue:; per day 


International news Press Trust United Press 

of India of India 


(0 Political ....... 

107 S 

361 

(ii) Cultural 

17 

3 

{iii) Social and educatiOiial 

^3 

8 

(iv) Finaiiciab commercial and economic 

274 

39 

(o) Sport ........ 

33^ 

33 

(vf} Scienliilc ....... 

25 

10 

(vii) Law (including law courts and Police), Crime, acci- 
dents and natural calamities. .... 

134 

54 

{viii) Statements and speeches .... 

240 

no 

(iA") IV’rsonalitics ....... 


30 

(.v) Otiier subjects ....... 

46 

x 6 


2231 

664 


:.:59. KcTlew of coverage. — Certain facts are obvioes (rom a study of these 
figures. The first is that the service provided by die Pisvs I'ruM of India 
is of greatev volunie than that provided by the f-ieh'-d I tress ol iruha. In 
the case of Indian news the United Press of India service averaged only 
40 per cent, of the Press Tr ust of India service and in the case of international 
news, the proportion was only 30 per cent. Even among items of Indian 
news covered by the United Press of India, tiiose that ('r)ujd bo considered 
as regional news made a much smaller proportion of the Udai than in the 
case of Pi'ess Trust of India, though in the case of botli agencies, national 
news figured more prominently than regional news. 

::;•{)(.). Intciiiational mews. — Taking the daily output of iriicrnational news, 
it will be noticed that the proportion, with reference to all news distributed, 
was Awr\- high in boih cases. This is not to say tfiai the quantum of inteiw 
.national news wars in itself high. Figures of similar random sampling of 
inh-rnational news flov/ing into any other country were not available to us 
l>ut we have made some use of certain analyses carried out by the Inter- 
national Press Institute, In their case, they have not taken a random 
sample of days but they selected four weeks in advance on a random basis — 
October 25 — 31, November 24 — 30, December 10 — 16 of 1052, and January 
5—11 of 1953, while our analysis is for fourteen days selected at random, 
in the first quarter of 1953. Still their figures make an interesting com- 
paidson. The published figures are in terms of cumulative teleprinter pages 
foT‘ the four weeks total and have been converted into aveia.ge number of 
lines per days allowing for differences in the type of teleprinters used in the 
United States and in India. The figures are as follows: — 

hiter national neivs floiving into United States of America 
Agency A 1,356 Lines per day, average. 

Agency B 2,292 Lines per day, average. 

Agency C 2,243 Lines per day, average. 

Agency D 2,309 Lines per day, average. 


18 Mofl&B. 



It will be noticed that the agency with the smallest output delivered a 
wordage twice that of the United Press of India and in the case of the other 
three news agencies the wordage was roughly equal to what Press Trust of 
India had provided in India. It would, however, be obvious that with the 
total service of a national news agency made up of nearly 45 per cent, of 
international news and only the balance left for national and regional news, 
the editor who depends on the agency is severely handicapped in balancing 
the contents of his news pages. We have already stressed the point that 
owing to the economic circumstances prevailing in this country and the 
comparatively small cii’culation of newspapers, it would not be possible for 
any paper to set up an extensive net-v/ork of correspondents. It is only the 
new\s agencies, who can divide their costs over a large number of papers, 
that can and should provide Indian neW'S in sutlicient quantity. 

361. Looking at it in another way, the large flow of international news 
that is being handled by the Indian agencies might have an indirect effect 
on the quantum of Indian news that can be circulated. The services to most 
of the centres are carried over a single circuit and since the handling of 
messages is not fully mechatiised, the large flow of international ik'ws might 
delay the transmission of Indian news. Even at the maximum speed which 
the teleprinters are able to handle, the total wordage that is distributed every 
day by tiie Press Trust of India would engage the lines for about eight hours 
daily. Since the speed of transmission is rarely up to the maximum and 
since the bulk of the news is sent out during certain parts of the da.y, the 
lines are clogged wuvh uruieeessary wordage, and there is delay in tran.s- 
mission. Also, Vvdiere it might otherwise have been possible to rent the 
lines only for a limited period of the day, this excessive wordage adds to 
the expenditure on line rental. 

362. 'I'iie remeeb/ fin* tl^e present state of affairs i.s for the Indian agencies 
to screen mort' rigorously the wordage that comes from Reuters or Agen(‘e 
France Press so as to include, in their local distribution, only those items 
which are of suflicient importance, and also to condense the wordage so that 
it is brought down to approximately 60 per cent, of tlie present wordage. 
Such editing and condcn.^-.'ition would, no doubt, involve some expenditure on 
eddorial stall' but considering the needs of the industry as a wliole, it would 
bo obvious that if the .‘'•’election and editing is carried out by a common 
organisation on behalf of all newspapers, this would ultimately be cheaper 
for the industry than to have the selection done at each place. Editing of 
news at one common point no doubt implies a certain degree of regimenta- 
tion in the seiection and it is for this reason that we have suggested that the 
condensation of the material should leave at least 60 per cent, of the present 
wordage sc that newspapers have still an adequate choice of items to print 
arjd others to leave out. 

363. Iridiiin news.-— A detailed analysis of the output of the Press Trust 
of India is given in the Appendix XXVIII. A synopsis is given below: 

.:>64. 1 he total quantum of Indian news will have to be increased very 
greatly and part of this increase can be achieved even with the existing staff 
by a more liberal selection of day-to-day events for reporting to the Press. 
A substantial increase in the output would, however, have to be achieved 
by more extensive collection from additional centres not at present covered 
arid by mort* detailed reporting of each event. Though on the figures, politics 
account only for 25 per cent, of the total wordage, there is not a correspond- 
ing increase in emphasis on subjects which are not receiving proper atten- 
tion at the hands of newspapers such as culture, society, education, scieiwe 
art and technology, which together account only for 10 per cent, of the 


wordage today. Nearly 20 per cent of the total wordage is concerned with 
reporting of speeches and statements by important personalities as well as 
news about the personalities themselves. Tiie proportion of speeches is 
roughly 19 per cent. Comparing the atUiition devoted to speeches in Reuter 
coverage and in Press Trust of India's intei-nal coverage, it is seen that the 
emphasis is 50 per cent, greater in the latter < ase. We may refer in this 
connection to the fuidingts of the Readership Sui vey wliich, wriilc indicaling 
the popularity of speeches, also shows that the readers feel that tliey are 
oemg reported .'vt too great length. Some ell'ort should bo devot<od by the 
editorial staff to condense the reports of speeches so tliat they do not co))laIn 
d i sproporti on ate wore! age. 

oOa Regional ra'ws ueeupies less space ttian national news, and if ac ^nint 
■js taken also of th(‘ fact that there are at least half a. dozen. disliPiet and 
different regions in the country with then’ own locad interests noi mei'cly 
in political and financial allairs, but also in social, cultural and scientific 
no‘ tiers, the paucity of n'gional news becoraes even more nolleeable. Conn 
paring nalional and regional news, it 'S noticed that atlenlion to polities is 
much greater in the latter while in the rcporlrng of local cultural or other 
activities, wlierx^ we would normally expect much greater coverage of local 
happenings, ihe propo>dio?^ in I’trgional news is 7 ptn* cent, as against 11 per 
cent, in the national news. The former does not therefore reflcet suflicientiy 
the diver' itied interp;ds of the people. Spcei'hes unfortunately ac- 
count iV)r near'y one-ftftli of regi.t.).nal news as ttiey do of the national news. 
Klfeetive c'ovcrage of these social aspects as well as of local polities can, in 
our ojhnion, be provided only if the total lineage of regional news is expand- 
f.'d to a volnme gi’eater than the present lineage of national news, yvt present 
the paixity of Indian news in the Press Trust of India services is made 
good to SOU'C exlojit by the {:ev/s collected by eoi respondents of particular 
newspapers, bid., as we ]uu’f‘ emphnsised, the possibihty of (mgaging a number 
of correspounents ex -sis only in the case of large newspapers. 

366. The remarks that we have made with reference to the Press Trust 
of India coverage would apply viuiaiiH mnlcindis to tlie United Press of India 
service also and the changes that we have suggested in tlie character of the 
Press Trust of India service should also be adopted by the United Press of 
India. The Ageru'c France Press do not havx^ c'Dirpnarhcnsiv’e coverage of 
financial, commercial or economic news, thougli they excel Reuters in the 
attention devoted to speeches and statemcaits! Similarly, in Indian news, 
regional c'overage is pi^orer than in the case of Press Trust of India, and it 
is surprising to find that statements and speeches of national interest uere 
actually reported in as great length as in the Press Trust of India service, 
tnough the total wordage of all news repoi’ted by tlie United Press of India 
is only hah of the Press T’rust of India’s total. 

367. IfeveloFirient of regional news. — It is the responsilii'ity of a news 
agenc.y to collect news economically and for the benefit of a number of new'S- 
papers which cannot pay individually for the cost of news collection. At 
present the news agencies are discharging this function mainly in the held 
of national news and we feel they should extend their efforts in the field of 
regional news In order to reduce Uie handicaps that stand in the wa.y o.l' the 
growth of small newspapers. 

368. We would lay great stress on the need for expanding regional ser- 
vices in order to eneoimage the development of district newspapers and 
also in order to help existing newspapers, now excessively preoccupied with 


foreign and national news, to present to their readers a picture of happenings 
in their own region. Asked for their views on the possibility of developing 
such regional services. P’ ess Trust of India wrote to us: 

“The question of regional service as expressed in yoiKr letter is receiv- 
ing attention of the Press Trust of India though I do not think 
we shall be able to organ ii’e such a service nor do I think will it 
be possible for an.v other news agency for the simple rea:;on of 
the uncertainty of the clientele coupled with costs and trans- 
mission difficulties. Some of the Indian language papers have 
specialised in tli’s in tlieir own regional areas and any elTort 
such as mentioned in your letter under reference will have to face 
very stiff ca)mpjetitIoii from the beginning”. 

“At present we ba\'e our own regional coverage wfiich is of provincial 
as well as of national interest but for pui'cly local news I am 
afraid Press Trust India may not be able to do much in the 

near future”. 

:iC9. It i.u of coiusio b'Ls;\ as ihey hove pointed out, that the (k vclonment 
of a purely local servic’c would not fall within the scope of a news agency 
operating on an all India basis. What we envisage is that in addition to the 
service whirdi is now available to all news})ap':n*s hi the country, Press Trust 
of India should also luu'e supphanentru y sm'vices whicli V'ould suit the 
needs of nev/s]:5apers witlun a particular region consisting, of course, of rnor" 
than one Stale or linguistic area. Snch a service may be ab'e to sciairo 
clients among a suflicienlly largo number of newsiiapers to justify the cost 
of distribu ! ion. An addhionrd ser\ ice oi' I'ogioiial news tlirc'ugli the Agency 
would, in all probability. f>e welcomed even by r'icwspapers with an c'xtrn- 
sivc organisation of eorrv:s{)ondcnts. whiic^ oIIkc’s w-ndd be fovd ful ff)r it 
and ready t'..) pay for it. 

970. Wo must mention herv* tbai Pk* Tdn ted h^rcss of liidia has dc'vc'opod 
.such a regional sf'rvi'*e \'ery .successfujly in Bong i). Thcc^’ maintain a mirnlav'r 
of corresDondents in East and West Bengal and are in a. preePeu to !)rov;(h* 
very good iocal (*ovora/W to the CaiCidta papers. It is open io nrvvsnapv};:', 
in C alcutta or e'sewherc to take or not to take this regional service and the 
tarifl is fixed accordingly. Tliey have not attempted a similar clcyelopms'nl 
in other regions, and tbe\' loid us that eisewaame the newspapers profcrrofl 
tladr own individual a’ rangr'rn'yits. Even if there t re wrel-cstabiishiad papei’S 
in Bombay, Madras or Dcihi, who have their own correspondents to cover 
the districts, this should not deter the agency from trying to augment its 
siu’vice to tile subseribors. Pro\dded Ihe i\f.s,in)c.y orgairses regional coverage 
on sound lines, it y/ould be able to please existing subscribers and to get 
new clients 

971. Two suggestions ba\o been made to us for fmproi’ing regional cover- 
age without considerable expansion of the staff the existing news agencies. 
One of tlicm is to idilise much of the material alrcad.v .available to new'? 
ageiic’y refuerters, which at present is not considered of sufTicient impor tance 
far dustribution on a national scale, but which might still prove usetui to 
local newspapers and could be distributed regionally. One obvious dlfficult.y 
in t'u ' way of an expansion of the Press Trust of India’s regional coverage 
in 1h s manner is the present practice of centralization of editing at Bombay. 
Items of news even if intendc'd purely for a State or local net work of sub- 
scribfrs would now have to be sent to Bomba.y for editing and rewriting. 



where necessary, and then transmitted back to the regional cer.tre for dis- 
tribution. Such an increase in traffic between regiona] centres and Bombay 
might make it necessary 1o rent more circuits from Bombay to, say, De'hn 
Calcutta and Madras. The proper solution would be decentralisation ,)t edi- 
torial responsibility and delegation to regional centres of the task of classify- 
ing items into those which they consider as of all Indian importance and 
others for distribution only to their own region. This may perluips result 
in a temporary lack of urdlorrnity of editorial practice in respect of items 
crjming in from various quarters of the cou-ntry, but such uniformity is sure 
to develop in the couiuse of a few months of operation. 


372. In their regional service in Beng:;l the United Press of Ii.cUa havf^ 
had the' ad\’antage that their editorial otnees are located at C'alcntta which 
is also tiie principal centre of publication in that region. If tiiey devetep 
regional services at Bombay, Madras and Delhi, it wouid be neccssaiy for 
tliien'i also to decentralise editing at least, in res;>cct of regMu.ial news and 
arrange tor tinar distribution froni these other centres- 

373. One other suggestion that has beem put forward is that all maicriai 
tiled by correspondents of ditrerent newspapers in the area should be pooled 
and that tlmse papers should permit Press Trust of India to select maicriai 
therefrom for distribution to all their subscribers. An arrangement on these 
I’nes would obviously permit of an immediate beginning bonng made wdiheait 
any large (.‘ommitments in tlie way of statf or line lenlal. It would, howe'ser, 
require the co-operation of at least two or three big newspapers in each 
area before it can be organised successfuily and since the scheme is intended 
mainly to benefit their rivals such co-operation may not be forthcoming with- 
out much persuasion. We expect, however, that if one of the mw/s agencies 
would make an earnest attempt to secure newspaper co-operation, they 
might be able to get the skeleton of a regional service straightaway. 

374. Classification of Press Trust of India services. — The Pro; 13 ud of 

India provide.'; three categviries of services, A, B and C which arc intended 
to meet the specific reciuiiements of newspaj)ers of different classes. The 
‘A’ service Is the fullest service they provide. The ‘B’ service is considerably 
shorter and the ‘C’ service is an abbreviated service' especially suited to 
small papers which can use only the barest outlines of the newes. According 
to Press Trust of India, ihe (-iassilication of news items into ‘A’, ‘B’ and TT 
services is on the basis of both wordage and the importance ot the news 
items. The ‘B’ service, according to the Press Trust of India, is intended to 
carry 50 per cent, of the ‘A’ service and the ‘C’ only about 25 per cen". All 
“supreme'’ news items are stated to be covered in the ‘C’ service in a brief 
fvirrn. The ‘B’ service is stated to get the ‘C’ service plus “amplification” 
or additional details of items given either in full or in summary form, fbe 
‘A’ service gets the full wordage of the ‘C’ and ‘B’ services as well as addi- 
tional details or “aiYiplitications” of the items and also other news items 
not noticed in the 'B’ services such as stories relating to “routine sports” as 
well as economic and commercial stories which are not ronsidered important 
ermugh for the other services. The Press Trust of India told us tbr.l llie 
wordage is not worked on any hard and fast basis; thus if on any day there 
are many important stories or some heavy wmrdagc of importance for even 
small papers, the ‘C’ service might get well over 2.5 per cent, of the wordaee. 
The extent of summarising, apart from the criterion of news value, would 
depend also on the heavy or light character of the news file expected for the 
day. They said that the ‘B’ and ‘C’ services are prepared as a general rule 


i;rom the original material but in the case of running stories in the ^interest 
of continuii:/ and completeness the entire material is issued in the ‘A’ service 
while special summaries are drawn up lor the ‘B’ and ‘C’ services. 


:]15. In order to have an idea of the comparative wordage of the diilerent 
s o vices, the Press Trust of India was reque.sted to make available to us a 
(•o']«-:‘tion of their news Ole for a particular period. They, however, loid 
us that owing to shortage of accommodation, their news files are destroyed 
wilhin a very short time after issue. We were, therefore, compelled to refer 
to the news file on record with All India Radio for the purpose of our 
analysis. We might, however, express our view that an ageru'y of any stand- 


ing should maintain complete files of their servdce for at least one year from 
is sue. 


V.li). We had an analysis made of Uie ‘A’, ‘B’ and ‘C’ services for certain 
random dates as already mentioned and this analysis shows that whatever 
the indentions of the Press Trust of India were, the w’ordage of the ‘B' ser\ ice 
was (U) per cent, of 11 le ‘A’ and the ‘C’ service was 40 per (*erit. ol the A 
service instead of per cent, and 25 per cent, respectively. These pcrceruages 
anohed bedh 1o natioiud news as well as stale and local news over tlie period, 
though there were laigo variations in the Quantum and in the propoi' 

lion from day to day. A full analysis is given in ApperKhx XXVITf. We 
shall conAue oinselvcs here to ;in c>:aiTi’iml.ion ol the deleets in tlio i.iay to 
day classification that have been bi'ought to our notice. These criUcisms 
apply both to the inlernational news rc'ceived from Reuter and distributed 
by l^icss Trust of India, and to tlie Indian news collected and distributed by 
Press Trust of India, and are concerned mainly with the exclusion of certain 
itmUiS or details from the ‘B’ service, even though the total wordage is (>0 per 
cent, instead of the 50 per cent, planned by Press Trust of, India. In the 
case of spm’ts, the complaint is that the definition of ‘ Supreme” sports is 
too ri,islrietive and that it is taken to exclude quite a numbo>' of items in 
which the ‘B’ subscriber would be interested, such as the piincipai linrse- 
racing event^' at home and a})road, international cricket matches, and tennis 
tournaments. Even where the item was included in the ‘B’ servif'e, cover«ag«* 
was inadequate, as in tlie case o£ Calcutta League and I.F.A. Shield matches. 
Similarly in the case of comna rcial news, the items included in the T3' 
service were few and 'dv' coverage poor. The .Press Trust of India had not 
sho'vn an awareness of the development of the Press both in English and in 
Inoia.n languages and the increasing importance given to sports and com- 
nwrcial news. In the field of political news Ihe omissions from the ‘B’ service 
are even more serious. For instance, in the report on the meeting of the 
Disarmament Commission (New York April 20th, 1954), Ihe ‘Al service car- 
ried 34 column inches including a full report of Mr. Vyshinsky’s spc'eeh in 
support of his amendment The ‘B’ service carried only five lines in which 
Mr. \bvshiim'ky could find no place, and there was no reference at all to his 
plea for consideration of the Prime Minister’s statements on the subject of 
disarrr!<ament. Ollier imslances of insufficient coverage in the B’ service vrere 
noticed in the reports of the action of the Egyptian Trade Unions in Ihe 
recent political conficts (Cairo, March 30, 1954), the demand from 100 Labour 
Xdernbers of the British Parliament that their Government should take steps 
to prevent the setting of of more Hydrogen Bombs (London, March 31, 1.^54). 
In these cases the coverage in the ‘B’ service was no greater than the 
coverage in the ‘C’ service. Even in Indian news there have been instances 
where the ‘B’ service carried no additions to what had been issued in the 


‘C’ service; for instance, in the reports of Parliamentary debates on the 
Defence Budget (March 27, 1954) the ‘A^ service carried thirty-eight column 
inches of Sri Mahavir Tyagi’s reply, while the ‘B’ service carried less than 
8 inches. Similarly, the speech of Sri Purshottamdas Tandon on March 23 
extended to 10^" in the ‘A* service and 3" in the ‘B’ service. In fact, a 
correction to the earlier report, which was issued in the ‘B’ service, referred 
to items which had not been previously reported in tliat service at all and 
ran to about (IB', i.e. much more than the original report itself. When asked 
about such anomalies in classification, the Chairman of the Board of Press 
Trust ol India admitted in his evidence before us that he had hirnse'.f come 
across many such instances and that they were trying to elirmnate tli‘’in. 
Sirh instances are so numerous that we are forced to the conclusion that 
there is lack of any proper system in tlie classification of news items, and 
that there might even be a tendency to force the ‘B’ subscribers to g^. in for 
the ‘A’ service by giving them a very poor coverage. 

377. Employees of the Press Trust of India have coiiiplained to us about 
the trouble involved in the classification of news for the dhlereni classes of 
service, but any trouble that they take is wasted if tlie principles of classifi- 
cation have not been properly laid down or if they arc not clearly under- 
stood and followed. Judging from the wordage and. assessing the additional 
work involved in condensing ‘A’ service for the ‘B’ subscribers, we fv'el that 
there is not adequate justification for a distinction between these lwf> classes 
of servic’e. There will alway^s be the need for an ^.bbrevialed ser'vice for the 
r.malier newspapers which eaiinol make use of the full ser'rice and winch 
canr:ot also afford the editorial staff which w^ould be required to extract from 
the full service tlio bare outlines that lliey would lluanseives need. We, 
therefore, feel that class! Ocation of the service into two categoric;- would 
lie quite su.fficient, and would result both in a prompter service^ to lliose now 
receiving ‘B’ service and would reduce editorial w<ark for the Press Trust of 
India The question of tarilTs is being discussed later 

378. Condensed service for District newspapers. — It has f)ccn suggested 
that in order to meet the needs of District newspapers for a condensc'd 
service of international, national and regional news. Press Trust lif inflia 
should revive what was formerly known as the .LN.A. scrx'ice provided by 
Associated Press of India in which news summaries running to a maximum 
of 2.000 words per day were put out at different times of the day in order 
to meet the needs of Government offices and even small newspapers. The 
preparation of such a summary would involve some amount of editorial work. 
It would, however, considerably ligliten the wmrk in the editorial offioes of 
the smaller papers that may subscribe to such a service, and even p* it is 
decided that the cost of preparing the summaries should be recovercvl directly 
from such subscribers, there will be a certain degree of saving cons<'qiie»)t 
on the fact that the Press Trust of India would do the editing for a number 
of newspapers and the incidence of cost on each paper would be reduced 
thereby. The ‘C’ service today gets an average of 15,000 to 20,000 w'ords and 
the proposed service would have only a fraction of that wordage. The ulti- 
mate effect of such an arrangement would be in the direction of confining 
the choice of news for the smaller paper to those that the news agency con- 
sidered fit to include in the summary. One obvious objection to such a 
proposal would therefore be that this would bring about a greater imformity, 
or even “regimentation’’ in the selection and presentation of newxs than exists 
today. 


379. The distribulion of such a service to district centres would also in- 
voke certain ddlicullies. Most of the district telegraph offices depend on 
manual transmission and aural reception, and the handling df about 2,000 
words additionally every day may over burden them to such an extent that 
all messages would be considerably delayed. The cost of telegraphic trans- 
mission would also be considerably higher than for transmission by tele- 
printer. Teleprinter facilities will have to be extended to many more centres 
than at present. 

380. News distrshiitkm through Ail India Radio. — Extension of the tele- 
printer network to cover all publishing centres v/ould require to be done 
over a period of years and though the cost of tiansmission is iow’er than 
for press telegrams of any appreciable wordage, it wa;)uld still be a substan- 
tial amount and a definite burden on new district papers. The suggestion 
nas therefore been put forward that newspapers should be freely permitted 
to take down from the radio the new^s bulletins put out several times a day 
by All India Radio and to reproduce it directly or in translation in their 
papers. It is stated tliat even at present a number of small newspapers 
induk'c in such piracy of news, paying no royalty fee to the Press Trust 
of India. The suggestion is that the position might as well be regularised 
by authorising the rcpublication of news picked up from the radio, Press 
Tru.st of India being compensated by incgreasing the subscription from AU 
India Radio or troin Government, to cover a fair royalty for the publication 
of such news. Being Iransmitted over the radio and pickeri up direc'tly 
by tlie user, the additional cost involved on account of distribution would 
be negligible and the royalty paid by government or by All India Radio to 
news agencies can be assessed purely on the estimated circulation of such 
papers. The w'ordage used by All India Radio in the bulletins in different 
languages varies to a great extent, according to the genius of the languages 
and tile speed at which it is normally spoken. The highest equivalent 
wordage is in flngiish where All India Radio uses on an average between 
3.300 and 5,000 words per day, the actual figure for any day depending upon 
the fall of news. After translation, tlie wordage in most of the Indian lan- 
guag':^s would be slightly higher, and if further allowance is made for the 
fact thai Indian language papers use larger type and wide spacing between 
the lines, the material thus available would be sufficient for ten to fifteen 
columns of standard size. There would, in consequence, be still some scope 
for further seiec'tion by the smaller newspapers. These papers \voiild also 
have to make their own arrangements for coverage of local news. 

381. A possible objection to this arrangement would be the greater con- 
centration, in Government hands, of the distribulion of news. Today All 
India Radio is estimated to reach about eight lakhs of homes, while the 
combined circulation of all the ne-wspapers is barely twenty-five lakhs. Of 
the lallor figure, the papers that subscribe to one news agency service or 
the other account for 21 lakhs and the others, with a total circulation of 
three lakhs, have no osten.sible source of news. If all papers in the latter 
category (and perhaps some of the former also) become dependent on what 
they pick up from Ail India Radio, the number of homes in the country 
who are fed with news by All India Radio would be a substantial proportion 
of all homes wliich receive a news supply in one form or another. 

382. Another drawback to this scheme is the liability to error as a con- 
sequence of an item being misheard or misunderstood. If a listener to the 
radio makes such a mistake, the consequences are confined to one person 


or one household. But if the same kind of mistake occurs in a newspaper 
office, the consequences are much more serious as the incorrect report would 
be carried in thousands of copies of llie paper. Any attempt to use spoken 
radio transmissions as the means of distributing a news service to news- 
papers siiould be made only where provision exists at the receiving end 
to record the transmission and such recoi'ding is used to clieck the short- 
hand transcript. For the present we do not rccoinmend liic adoption of 
the scheme we have discussed, and wt* suggest tliat ii the proposal is to 
be taken up in the future, the drawbacks wc iiave pehued emt should first 
be eliminated. 

There is, however, one possibility which might be further explored. 
W ' understand that under the present contracd bclwcen All India Radio and 
To' '! s Trust of indha. the right of publication in prinlc;i form of the All 
Tidia Radio buliciins is \'est('d b.'ick in tive Press Trust rd' [ndia, who there- 
ny control tlu rights both in the news items and in the form and slmpe 
liidt All India Kavlio give to it. In the circumstances, there sliould be noth- 
i:^g jri the wa: of Press Trust of India providing a simnnary service based 
pTiygarlly on ihe i)uTctins tiiat All India Radio prepares several times a day, 
re-edited where necessary and supplemented 1)3^ items that the agency con- 
siders sliOuld have been included. This ma 3 " be distrilnstcd fry Press Trust 
of India to all its offices for is.suc to sniall nev.'spapers wlio would br* in- 
terested in it. Vv^bero the Press Trinst of India do not have their own 
teleprinter ofnee. the bulletins could be deliw-'red b 3 ^ telegram for the pre- 
.'^ent. This would save the Press Trust of India llie bulk of the cost of 
preparing these bulielins, vcliicli we understaufi from Ail India Radio is 
quite high, and would also give a real value to the assignrient of rights 
that Vv'e 'nave j’eferred to above. A lolal of about 4.000 woids per day 
could be distributed in four instalmvmt.s which would occupy the lines for 
about fifteen minutes on each occasion. In addition to the smaller papers, 
some Stave Oovernments which' at present subscTibe for a summary service 
might find their requirements fully nuT by the All India Radio summaries, 
which m;i.y perhaps be supplemented by the spet'ial regional summaries 
that All India Radio have started at several centn's and propose !o extend 
to others also. 

384. If the suggestions above are adopted, the Press Trust of India can 
pirovide three categories of service to newspapers, the full service (equivalent 
to the ‘A’ service at present), a brief service (equivalent to the ‘C’ service 
at present) and a summary service (similar to the former I.N.A. service 
but based on All India Radio summaries). We have sugge.sted (Appendix 
XXX) what wc con.sider to be suitable tarilfs for these three seincices, for 
paper.> published in the language in which the service is distributed and 
for papers published in other languages. We are making the distinction 
in this form since we anticipate that an atlernDt will soon be made for the 
distribution news services in Hindi, and later in other languages also. 
In our view, the dilTerence in tarilTs according to language sliould be based 
on the fact that the newspapers will have to translate the news after 
they have edited them to suit their requirement, or combine the 
work of translation with that of editing. In either case the3’' would have 
to iiicin* expenditure on putting the news into the language they use. and 
the cost of such translation should be deducted from the subscription they 
pa 3 ^ so that they are not at a disadvantage in comparison with others who 
publi.sh papers in the sam-e language as is used by the news agencies. 



138 


385. United Press of India services. — In the case of the United Press of 
India the classification of services does not appear to be regulated by any 
cvei l-defined lines of demarcation and the main distinction would appear 
to be between those papers (mainly located in Calcutta) which take the 
full ‘docal” coverage that United Press of India provides and others which 
do not require this special service. Another special feature of the United 
Pre:;s of India service is that it can be taken with or without the inclusion 
of foreign news, the latter aopareutly being intended for the convenience 
of these papers which take the Press Trust of India service and are satis- 
fied wilh Reutei’s coverage of international events. (The Hindustan 
Sarnachar would appear to provide only one class of service.) 


38(). Tariffs.— The three categories of Press 
charged for the basis set out below: — 

Trust of 

India services are 

‘A’ Service ...... 

. Rs. 

3,6 oo per 

month. 

TE Service ...... 

. Rs. 

2 poo per 

month . 

Uf Service ...... 

. Rs. 

1,200 per 

month 


These raters a].)piy to newspapers pubiishecl in English. For Indian language 
nevYspapers llte rate of subscription is half that for the same category of 
servdeo for English papers, i.e., ‘A’ service Rs. 1,800. ‘B’ service Rs. 1.000 
and ‘C’ icrvicc Hs. GOO. These clisrges wtu'o adopted on the recommenda- 
tions of a cornmitlee that the Press Trust of India had appointed to bring 
about a standardisation of the subscription charged for newspapers. 

.387, Wu tried to ascertain the reasons for fixing a lower subscription 
in the case of the Indian language papers and asked the Press Trust of 
India wh.elhci in fixing a lower rate for Indian language newspapers any i 

allow.mce was made for the cost of translating the material into the lan- 
guage ren lured before it could be used. Their reply was: 

“For obvious reasons it docs not come within the purview of fixation 
of tariffs whether the language paper incurs further expenses 
on translation or translations, and whether the translation into 
one language from English is less costly than that of the otheir. 

Tliese are matters purely for the publishers to calculate and 
adjust the price of the newspapers accordingly’'. 

388. While these rates are applicable to newspapers situated at certain 
centres such as Bomba.y, Calcutta, Madras, Allahabad. Patna. Lucknow and 
Arnbaln 11 e Press Trust of India charge a higher rate for their service at 
other centres. Their justification is that where they have “adequate arrange- 
ments for the distribution of the service and where the rale of subscription 
could be enforced” these tariffs would apply. When a single newspaper 
appears in an isolated distant place, a number of facts have to be considered. 

In the first place, a teleprinter line may not be available, and, secondly, 
even so the life of newly started newspaper is highly problematic. It is, 
therefore, difficult to decide on long-term arrangements. On these grounds 
they have been charging much higher rates to now^spapers situated at centres 
other than those mentioned above. In certain cases when new subscribers, 
came up at the same centre, a slight reduction is made in the subscription 
charged to the earlier subscribers. In other cases this concession does not 
appear to have been given. The reasons given by the Press Trust of India 
do not appear very convincing. For instance, they have decided to charge 
the standard rate of subscription at Ambala. As far as we are aware, they 


have only one subscriber at Ambala and the centre is not therefore com- 
parable with the others they have mentioned. There are five subscribers 
at Kottayam and each of them is beiuii ciiarged Rs. 150 more than the 
standard subscription. In Indore, one papei- is charged the standard rate, 
while two others pay a surcharge of Rs. 100 per month. Similarly, of the 
two papers in Jullimdur, one pays Rs. iOO more lhan the other. In Nagpur 
where the Press Trust of India have a ruimber of subscribers, three of the 
four pc.pcrs in Indian languages are charged Rs. 50 more than ll\e fourth. 
In Poona we have the instance of three, p.apers being charged below the 
standarsi rale. We consider such disparities in subscription inderensible 
and likely to shake tlie confidence of the newspapers in the Agency. It 
should be the poU(*y of the Agency to quote a .specific rate for a particular 
ser\'ice and to make no distinction between one si-ibscriber and another in 
ill.' iTialter subscriptions charged for the same category of service. 

;;8 c The total subscription realised for all categories of services from 
English papers and from Indian language paixrs is approximately equal. 
The subscription revenue in respect of the ‘A’, ‘B’ and ‘C’ services is roughly 
in the proportion of 3:3:2. 

390. Complaints had been made to us that large chains and group have, 
by virtue of tlicir holding of shares in Press Trust of India, been able to 
manipulate the tariff to their own advantage after having secured control 
of the organisation and that their contribution to llic revenues of the Press 
Trust of India is kept down. We have examined in a note in the Appendix 
XXTX whether there is any trutli in these allc’gations and have come to 
the c:onc!usions: (a) if the rates favour some subscribers rather than 
others, the situation has not necessarily been bi'ought about by tlie voting' 
power of the favoured subscribers; (b) that the Press Trust of India de- 
pends for more than half its revenue on a few big newspaper organisations 
and that all the oilier papers together contribute less than half its incorae. 

391. This, however, is not to imply that the laritTs as they exist are satis- 
factory or fair. The Press Trust of India have themselves realised that the 
subscription they collect should bear some sort of relationship to tlie number 
of persons to whom the newspaper sells the news. Thev^ have, therefore, 
inirocluccd from 1st April 1951 a S 3 ostem of surcharges by which a newspaper 
is assessed in addition to its regular subscription, as mentioned above, an 
additional sum based on. its circulation as follows: — 

‘A’ service ...... Rs. 200 o o per mensem for 

CA'cry 5,000 copies in 
excess of 30 , 000 . 

‘B’ service . . . . . . Rs. iii i 9 Do. 

‘C’ service ...... Rs. 66 10 S Do. 

Indian language papers subscribing to any one of these services pay a sur- 
charge at half the above rates. 

392. Our view is that while the Press Trust of India have established 
that subscription paid by a newspaper should be related to its circulation, 
(they apply this principle also in fixing the charges payable by All India 
Radio for the use of the Press Trust of India services), the tariff mentioned 
above does not give sufficient weight to the circulation. We have suggested 
a tariff (Appendix XXX) which we recommend to the Press Trust of India 
for adoption. Our recommendations are that the Press Trust of India should 
cfler two categories of service, in place of the three at pre^sent, and also 


140 


offer a summary service based on All India Eadio bulletins, and that tlie- 
tarin's for these should be as follows: — 


Class I service 
Class II service 
Summary service 



Fixed 
charges 
per year 

Royalty per 
copy sold 
per year 
(English 
papers) 

Royalty per 
copy sold 
per year 
(Indian 
language 
papers) 


6,000 

3,000 

2400 

2 0 0 1 14 0- 

I 0 0 i 0 10 0 

nil uii 


Newipapers not exceediiii^' twenty-four pages per week ot* standard si/.e and 
having less than 5,000 einmlation, may take the summary service; those 
pu.blisliing a iarger number of pages but not exceeding Ihirty-lVvX) pages 
per week may t<d^e the Class II service, and others publishing more pages 
per week, should lake the Class 1 service. A reduction oi 25 per cent, on 
the royalties should be allowed to any newspaper that subscribes also to 
a scrvii'c from die United Press of India. 

3;)2. In making tlie recommendations our aim has been that the lanfls 
should be so devised as to represent an equitable allocation of the cost of 
news collectio'i and distribution to the various newspapers ;md oibcr sub- 
scribers. (The present tarilTs do not, in our opinion, reflec; cither the cost 
h) th- organisation in respect of each category of service or the value to the 
newspaper of the service they take.) Under the former head, we have 
attempted to make a distinction between certain fixed charges connected 
pureiv wilii the distribution of the services and other ciiargcs connected with 
nows gat liering which, in our view, require to be expanded (‘onsKlerably in 
order to imjmove the quality and quantum of news provided. In assessing 
the value to ih>e newspaper itself, we have tried to allow lor the diileicnces 
between Englisb newspapers who could make use of the agency service 
direct]./ after editing and the Indian language papers who have both to 
translate' and to edit. We have also tried to determine the category of 
service in rehition to the size of a newspaper so that the larger papers have 
mi adequate wordage from which to make a selection for each dayU issue. 
V/e have also suggested a more direct relationship betw^een circulation of a 
paper and the subscription that it pays to the news agciK’y. Our recom- 
mendations are. therefore, based on the general conclusions that we have 
set out so far, and we expect that if adopted they wdll result in revenues 
substantially higher than the Press Trust of India receive at present, while 
at the same time the burden will be redistributed among the newsoapers 
more equitably, each newspaper paying a share proportionate to the use 
tlun: i: make.-, of the news. 

394. In the case of United Press of .India, the official tariff provides for 
four diiTereuI classes of subscribers:-— 



A. I . ' 

A. 2 

i 

B. 



Rs. 

Rs. 

Rs. 

Rs. 

English papers 

2,000 , 

1,000 

750 

550 

Indian l.angnage papers 

1,200 1 

750 I 

500 

300 




A 


% 




141 


-Ne.vs service of the first category is stated to include the service of iiiterna- 
tional news obtained from the Agence France Presse as well as ^‘local and 
provinciil news”. This regional service covers mainly the Stale of West 
Bengal w’here the agency has a number of correspondents in the districts to 
nil Incal events. These reports are sent t)y mail to the agency and 
sfvnctiim s bv telem-am or telepiione. This ratesory ot servne is taken by 
ncv.spa,).s-s loraU-d in Calcutta who fnul the regional coveiofic nselul. The 
se.oM,i ealcf-nry excludes this local service bni inchidcs the bulk of the 
huiiiin news as well as tlie international news. Tile ‘B’ service is an ‘ibbrc- 
vcdiTl serviic, and the T” scrvii'e is delivered hy hand aitd not distributee 
tl,r:)U!‘,h a telmw. liter. There are. however, so many individual variations 
in |h.. tvoe of service given to dilTra'fcnt newsiiapeis that we would quote the 

■ meaning thereby 


Press of India who have said ‘‘Our Indian servii 


; ii-lnuia hi.enia' sciwice, has lieen taken by us as the basi 


■mbscn.pt ion 


to ouotc 


(•(.auM’Sslons in ratti 


few sub-sections or sub-d:visimis no 

service”. The position is not mvcTi cu. 
heelv d. There are so many t-ar-'dions in 
lias classined as tlie same ty).)c oi sar\ 
;\e Umtc.i Press of India themselves; ‘1 
rates have got to be allowed In some 


no doubt admissibie 
[•u.arcr In the rnaiter 
in the rales cliarged 
.mvice that we prefer 
‘11 might bti stated 
•le ''ll thr‘ snbsci'ibcrs 


g into consideration then' (.’apacity to pay and impoitcUK 
hey commaud i^' their zones. 11 becomes therefore diHicu 
■ir'ent rTi:ori.mi hir all '.mnsc^T of .mbsmshers, . In th 
Trust of India u’o have mierred to m-my instances where 
>een charged mo^’e than the nominal tarid. in ttie ease 
of hKba lUo vsn-^ations i-vm tbm cUmr way, and Inere 


..o pay and importance and ciimida- 
ernes therefore diiTicult to ]oy down 
^ubscishers, . In the case rrf thi‘ 
mmy instances where the subs''a'iber 
1 tarih. Tn tlie ease of the United 
dmr way and Inere m'c numerous 
hi tosih. somelitues much less, than 
manmnnnarit wriv this pra'di'/e 'hna 


n Ilf*' essary and were told tliat in many ( asss b""-.' XJii.ii 
:.s 1 be as.sst the paper and therefore B<‘eep1ed a low an’ 

’ be so in a few instance^. Wi* recsseed th^i impres;hon ih 
s'ses the sul^scription wam nxed noon, after somi barga 
paocT woTild hnaby agree to pa,v. We need not eruD 
'1 a practice is to tlu' ne\vspaDcrs who accept the dem^ 
nsv 1hc fun '^ans H‘ the manawnnent fonsider it m 


ed Press of India 
rate,. While this 
[P; in Tie majority 
neng., at wlmfcvcr 
lasise V'ow unfair 
nd of the agency 
erssarv Usd, they 


should build up a clientele, and that during this period they should ofTor 
tbi-'v service ai lo-iV rales in order to get an entry into the imlustry, the pro- 
j)e^’ souses v,’oiUd anpear to be fnmtc' low rates mdrormlv to all its sub- 
serih.-'s and not to dis-riminate betwmon widing and rmwilbmc elienls. 
Our ruggesiions for a re\-sion of tlmir larirfs are summaris(>d jKdonn In 
this e'isc' too we re^’ornTncnel 1ha* the tariff for lh(hr serviC'' bo (uivudcHd into 
two parts (vide para, 392U a fixed service charge of Rs. 3.000 per annum and 
a rc'valty. payable per '“'ipy per annmm at the rate of R-s for English 
parwrs and Re. -/lO/- for Indian iangunge paners. The royahies wooit Iw 
subiect to a rebate of 25 per cent, where thi' newspaper subscribes a’ o to 
a .^cTW'ise from ilu’* Prs'ss Twist of India. 

395. Oommerem! — In addition to the services provided to news- 

papers, both Press Tn:ist of India and United Press of India provide a com- 
m-ieied service to individual subscribers. The nature of the service is modi- 
fied to suit the needs of the Ciistom^’f! one niay be interested in cottohi 
market rates, another in the stock exchange, some may receive only bullion 
prices and so on. Thou,gh a service of commercial news is provided to the 
ne'A'spapers also, that is usually in the form of a report on opening and 


closing prices with a review of the transactions effected. In the case of the 
individual subscribers, the service takes the foi'm of a contiraious ticker 
service showing the fluctuations in the particular commodities cover- 
ed. Some witnesses have questioned the propriety of such services being 
provided by news agencies. It is true that in some other countries, such a 
service, even if carried on by the same parent organisation as the news 
service, is usually conducted by a different unit with its own staff and 
capital. On llie other hand, it has been held that the operation of a ticker 
service adds to the revenue of the nuws agency without adding much to its 
expenses and tlvus serves to reduce the cost ;0 the newspapers of the service 
tney take. We see no objection to the news agency conducting also a ticker 
service, provided tins is done in tlie proper manner. We have, however, 
heard numerous complaints that client.s to the ticker service have beern 
pormhied to use the teleprinter lines for private communications of a nature 
not permittf'd on these lines. It has been alleged that tlie lines are used 
for private operations on the markets. The Post and Telegraph Department 
stcited in evidence that tb.ey b.ave Vieen able to secure proof of misuse of 
the lire's and the Directors of the Press Trust of India also admitted that 
misuse existed and they were trying to put a stop to it. It should be tiie 
fir-st task of the Press Trust of India to put a stop to such practices and talie 
action e '.a'n.st tlie guilty persons. We should, in this connection, caution 
the p!’'. ' T'aist (T India manage-menr. not to place too much dependence on 
tins oi revenue. If the a! legations of misuse are justified, as tliey 

appear to I.jc, it sr-ems to us that whim the malpractices are stopped, the Press 
Trust ox India inigiit lose some at hxist of their present clients. In any 
case it se^'ins t»'o ur, < essential that the agency should place their finances on 
a sound footiug which will not be seriously affected by the loss of such 
clierde# 

39d. The qvu’d-ion has been raised whether hues rented for such ticker 
services sliould be charged for at the concessional rates applicable to the 
press, whicli aix- lower than ti>e rates lor circuits foi' private use. Where a 
circuit is used i‘or botii press and ticker services, it should naturally be 
charged at the lower rate, but whe-'e a line is used exclusively lor ticker 
services, w(' see no justification for the claim to the concession. 

397. The United Press of India also provide a ticker service more or less 
on the same lint's, and also depend upon the revenues from this service to 
a greater extent than we would like. Complaints of misuse of the lines 
have been at least as numerous in their case also, and we would repeat in 
their case whatever we have said about tiie Press Trust of India. They do 
not have the comprehensive commercial service that Press Trust of India 
buy from Reuters, and their position as purveyors of commercial intelligence 
is therefore even more vulnerable. 

398 Government sobscriptioas. — Next to newspapers and the commercial 
subscribers, Governments, State and Central, form an important group of 
clients for the iiewc-; agencies. The Central and State Governnurnts sub- 
scribe for dilferent categories of new^s services for the information of their 
Cabinets and odicers, but there is little uniformity either in the type of 
services bought or the subscriptions paid. 

399. The Government of Madras pays Rs. 350 per month (excluding tele- 
printer rental) and receives a “summary” service. The Government of East 
Punjab is charged Fts. 1,000 per month for the same service, and the Gov- 


U3 

ernment of Bhopal Rs. 1,100. The Principal Information Officer of the 
Government of India who receives the ‘A’ service pays Rs. 500 for it, while 
the Bombay Government pays Rs, 1,800 for the same service. We have 
mentioned elsewhere that such excessive payments, or rather the fear of 
losing them, can act as a source of pressure which affects the objectivity of 
the news service. We would suggest to the Government of India that they 
should take up with the State Governments the nature of the services that 
they require and the points at which these have to bo made' aveiiiable, and 
then negotiate with the Press Trust of India for a uniform tarhf which would 
be fair to both parties and which would not contain such glaring anomalies as 
at present. Certain suggestions for rationalising Government subscriptions 
are giver] b(dow. The requirements of Government departments can be ade- 
quately met by one or Ihc' otlier of the regular services of the Press Trust 
of Rrdia and the subscription for the three categories may be: — 

Class I service, Rs. 9,000 per annum. 

Class II service, Rs. 4,500 per annum. 

Summary service, Rs. 2,400 per annum. 

400. The Central Government also purchases news services for the pur- 
pose of distribution. The Mitnslry of EKlernal Alfaii's obtains 11 >e Press 
Trust -.A' India service for distribution t(.) Indian missi'.)ns abroad, and through 
them, to newspapers and individuals in the countries served by eacli mission. 
The u..;e made of tlii;:. servlet-* is I'evit'wed later in this Gi/fptt'r. The Ministry 
of Iiii'oi'rnation and B. - »adeasd.ng, thn eugh its broavieasiing organisation. All 
India Riuiio, purchase::; n*..*ws from a number of agencies for distribution 
tlirough Pte radio boPn in India and abroad. 

401. I/epeiidiuice on subscription from lladio. — Bfief notes about the fm- 
ancial set-iip of tlie tliretr agencies, Press Trust of India, United Press of 
India and Hindustan Samachar are given in the Appendix XXXI, and it 
would be sutricient to say lieia' that none of them is operating on a sound 
economic basis. T’:e [name cause of this financial distress is of course the 
lack of development of tlie Press as a vdiole. With a total revmiue of about 
eleven crores of rupees a year, tlie amount that can Im spared for a sub- 
scriptions to agencies waould not exceed 5 per cent, or 55 lakhs. The annual 
budget of the Press Trust of India is round about 50 lakhs at presen 1, and 
that of tlK' United Press of India is about fifteen lakhs. ( llindustan Samachar 
spends less than half a lakh a year). Hence arises the dependence of news 
agencies on the revenue from Commercial Services, and the large part that 
subscriptions from the radio play in the balancing of the budget, Our 
recommendations for rationalisation of tariffs would increase the overall 
revenues of both Press Trust (>f India and United Press of bidia and nii/dit 
also compensate for some fall in Commercial subscriptions. Dcpendenc-;' on 
subscriptions from All India Rrtdio would hardly be reduced. This is per- 
haps inevitable, owing to the very limited circulation of newspapers in this 
country. The problems of news coverage are determined the size of the 
country, the population and the extent of its activity. While this sets the 
lower limit to the expenditure budget of news agencies, the upper limit to 
their revenue is set by the number of people v/ho pay for the nev/s, or in 
other words the combined circulation of newspapers. While this is growing 
from year to year, such growth is not rapid at present because of wide- 
spread illiteracy and poverty, both of which can be overcome only gradually. 
As a consequence, it will be necessary to depend to a greater extent on 
revenue from the radio. 


402. Tarsfif for radio subscriptions. — We were informed that when select- 
ing a news agency and when fixing the subscription to be paid, All India 
Radio has geiierally been guided by a number of considerations among which 
are; 

(1) the scope and utility of the service; 

(2) the siaiiding of the agency and its reputation; 

(3) the general level of the subscription paid for the same service by 

newspapers. 

A s t a t €' m e 1 1 1 o f t h e n e w s a g e n c i e s \y i i h w h o m All India K a d i o h \ e a 1 1 a i i g e - 
merits for the supply of news for broadcast and the terms of payment in 
(!ach case is included in Appendix XXXII. In our recommendations for 
revision of the tariffs, we ha-xr suggested a revision of the subscriptions paid 
by All India Radio on the same lines as proposed for newspapers. The fixed 
charge would be as for tiur Class 1 service to newspapers published in 
English, and tiie royalty would be t('n annas })er annum per licence, the 
number of licences in force being ealeulated as at present. Payment for 
use of the news in External Services may continue to be fixed ad hoc. It is 
true mat the ri'prcst riiative of All India Radio did express the view that if 
faced with an iiurease in the sijh.scrifts’on to the news agency, it may be 
preferable for .All India Radio to run its own news collecting agency; but 
in tliC intercsl of Uie newspaper industry, we think it would be expedient 
for Goveiiiment to use tiu.; agency scrrvices as the basic source, even if tlu^y 
have to pay somcwiiat iiiglum rates than at present, and to employ corres- 
ponvtenls of ihcnr own only i() supplement these services as newspapers do. 

R):t. Basis for assessing radio subscriptions. — At present the contribution 
from the radio is proportionately lowu’r dian for instance in tlie United King- 
dom. Thevre, trie number of liceni'ces is rouglih' 40 per eeiil. the total 
circulation of newspapers, and we are informed that the radio pays 30 per 
cent, of wdiat the newspapers pay. In other words, radio pays, in respect 
of cacli licence^ roughly three-fourths of what the newspapers iiay in respect 
of each subscriber. In India the number of licences is roughly one-third 
of the circulation of all newspapers, and on the same proportion, as in the 
Uniied Kingdom, they should contribute one-fourth of wdiat the newspapers 
pay. On tlie basis of the pri'sent reAWfiues of the Press Trust of India from 
newspapers, radio’s assessment in respect of domestic services comes to 
less tiian one-eighth and our recommendations would have the oircct of 
bringing it up to \vell over one-sixth. The tariff we recommend for the 
radio and for the nc’Vvrspapers takes into account the fact that all newspapers 
accept paid advm-lisements, while the radio does not, and that the adver- 
tisement revenues vary bclvvoon English papers and Indian language papers. 
Our recommendations should cover the normal course of development of 
both radio and newcspapeis. If how'twmr our expectations about the growth 
of .small newspapers are exceeded, and in consequences the average revenue 
of die news agencies per lakh of circulation is reduced, the proportion of 
revenue from the radio should be raised from 0.75 of l}.>at average, recom- 
mended above to 0.8. 

4()4. Suppieineiiiiii.g px*cj>erit sources of foreign news. — V/e have referred 
earlier to the drawbacks of depending upon foreign news agencies for the 
supply of iriternationa,] news for Indian newspapers. Until the Press in this 
country has expanded to many times its present size, it may not be possible, 
for the Press Trust of India with the revenues that they can command to 
extend it.^ network of correspondents to cover the world and provide our 


145 







t 


4 


papers with objective reports which are not slanted to suit the interests of 
other countries. For the present the Press Trust of India may have to 
continue their arrangment with Reuters for the supply of international news, 
though they could with advantage add to it some other sources of supply. 
We have already suggested that Press Trust of India would have to edit 
more effectively the news that they receive from abroad. Once their edito- 
rial arrangements are improved, it might become possible for them to handle 
messages from more than one source. We were informed that their present 
arrangements with Reuters stipulates only that that source should be treated 
as the basic source of international news, but there is apparently no obstacle 
to their supplementing the Reuter service with news from other sources. 
Judging from the views of journalists, it v.muld appear useful if Press Trust 
of India would examine this matter as soon as their financial and staff 
position permits them to do so. 

405. Appointment of correspondents abroad. — A more important direction 
in which they should direct some effort, and one perhaps more likely 
to yield the results we look for would be to supplement the service from 
Reuters by despatches from special representatives stationed abroad. Under 
the old agreement v/ith Reuters, it was the responsibility of Press Trust of India 
to gather all news from over a wide zone extending from Cairo to Singapore, 
on behalf of Reuters. Though this agreement has now been terminated, and 
Press Trust of India have been withdrawing their men from’ the centres 
where they had been stationed, they have retained the services of the 
men who had been working abroad, and w’hen finances permit, it should 
be possible for them to open their offices at some of the major capitals of 
the world. Our recommendations for the improvement of Press Trust of 
India finances should in our view enable them not merely to re-organise 
their operations in this country and meet the claims of the employees, but 
also to open a few overseas centres. In addition to London and New York, or 
Washington, such offices should be opened at a few centres in the Middle 
East and South East Asia. If the negotiations for reciprocal reduction of 
press rates for radio and cable messages, which wc have referred to in 
Chapter VII, reach a satisfactory conclusion at an early date, the financial 
burden of getting news direct from these centres would be substantially 
reduced. Once such centres are established, it may be possible to come 
to an arrangement with the national news agency in each of the countries 
covered, for an exchange of news from those countries and from India. 

406. Briefing of foreign eorrespondenls. — In addition to the few corres- 
pendents working abroad for Indian news agencies, some of our papers 
have their own correspondents at London and New York who work side by 
side with the agency correspondents. All of them however work under certain 
handicaps which we feel can be removed. At present, these correspondents, 
whether representing agencies or individual newspapers, lack continuous 
contact with their head offices since the distance makes communication 
expensive. As a result, when some event happens or sorne pronouncement 
is made on which they would like to ascertain local reaction, they may not 
know which aspects to cover as they might not have the full background. 
We would consider it therefore helpful if the Press officers of the Indian 
missions abroad could keep in touch with such correspondents, and on all 
necessary occasions, brief them about the background to the matter so that 
the correspondents can make an informed selection of the sources whom they 
approach and the material that they gather. When Dr. C. P. Kamaswaml 
Aiyar was in London last year and discu.ssed with the Indian correspondent? 

18 M of I&B. 



146 


their dihiculties, they stressed this matter of briefing and mentioned one 
or two instances when they could not sound local opinion on certain steps 
that India had taken, because they had no background information beyond 
what was carried in foreign agency reports. We understand from witnesses 
that in certain cases, where there had been sudden developments in the 
situation it was possible that the head of the Mission might not himself 
have received the full background information before the news broke. We 
expect however that in the majority of cases it would be possible to give 
the correspondents such help as they may ask for. Later in this chapter, 
we are reviewing the Press services sent out daily by the Ministry of 
External Affairs for the use of our Missions abroad. These services would 
appear to include selections from background material or press releases issu- 
ed in this country, but apparently the needs of Indian correspondents abroad 
have not so far received any special attention nor has material been prepared 
specially to meet their needs. We trust that this omission will be remedied 
in the future. 

4(17. Working of the Press Trust of India. — We have considered carefully 
various details relating to the working of the Pre.s.s Trust of India. Certain 
witnesses had made statements before us that the Press Trust of India Board 
could not function effectively on account of divisions and factions. It is 
difficult to say how for each allegation is justified, but it seems clear that 
apprehensions of this nature are widely held in the newspaper profession, 
and the trend of the evidence tendered by those connected with the Press 
Trust of India Board has created the impression that these apprehensions 
are not unjustified. 


408. Outstandings from newspapers. — From a study of the budgets and 
statements of revenue and expenditure of the Press Trust of India, it is also 
clear that where certain directors are concerned, the Press Trust of India 
has allowed relaxation of the rules regarding collection of subscriptions, 
thus giving them a financial advantage over others who regularly pay their 
subscriptions and satisfy their commitments to the Press Trust of India. 
While granting credit to the directors, we find that the Press Trust of India 
at the same time had to incur commitments in respect of its overdraft 
accounts with banks. We are surprised that this procedure should have 
been followed by the directors who ought to have set a higher standard 
in their dealings with the organisation. On the 28th February, 1954, the 
total outstanding from newspapers considered good for recovery exceeded, 
Es. 3^ lakhs. This is surprising when the rules require that all payments 
of subscription should be made in advance of the period to which it refers. 
Out of this sum, an amount of Rs. 66,000 was outstanding from directors of 
the Press Trust of India. Suits have been filed in respect of another of 
Rs. 50,000 of arrears, and were being filed also in respect of another Rs. 30,000 
where the chances of recovering the sum were not so bright. In addition, 
a sum of over Rs. 90,000 has had to be written off as irrecoverable. 

409. Subscribers as Directors. — An allegation was made that one of the 
Directors had been availing himself of the ‘A’ service while paying only 
for the ‘B’ service. This was admitted by the other Directors, but the 
gentleman concerned tried to bluster his way out of answering questions 
we put to him and had to be asked to withdraw^ (This was the only 
occasion in the whole of the inquiry when we had to ask a witness to with- 
draw.) Another Director, who published multiple editions of his paper 


(printed in the form of supplements at centres other than the one in respect 
of which a subscription was being paid to the Press Trust of India) had 
not been charged for these supplements and the other Directors had over- 
looked the matter. We consider it undesirable that a Director should be in 
charge of the day to day working of the agency. 

410. Meeting demands of employees. — In the matter of their uegotialions 
with their employees on the question of emoluments and amenities, it has 
been brought to our notice that certain adjustments oi' compromises have 
been arrived at between the management and employees which have increas- 
ed the commitments to the extent of Rs. Ih lakhs per year. The settiement 
is an interim one and a final adjustment of their agreement would possibly 
need another lakh or so. It is dillicult, however, to see irom the balance 
sheets made available to us how this extra commitment is proposed to be 
met and no definite proposals nave been put forward before us foi the 
purpose of dealing with this delicit in their finances. 

411 Whereas the Directors, past and present, of the Press Trust of India, 
who appeared before us, were practically unanimous in saying that the 
services of the Press Trust of India should be extended to many 
and some non-Asiatic centres, yet they could suggest no satisfactory method 
by which this result can be achieved. Most of them cvnild not go beyond 
two demands— that the Government of India should reduce the charges 
made for line rental and reception, and that if :diould increase the payments 
made on behalf of All India Radio. 


412. Lack of plans for 31ie future.— It is clear to us that the present 
Board of Directors have no well formulated plan for meeting the growing 
demands which are made on the service and that if the present stale o 
affairs is allowed to continue, the Press Trust of India would continue to 
drift in uncertainty. We do not propose to deal in detail with the allegations 
of improper management and nepotism that have been liroughi to our no , ice, 
or elaborate on complaints that have been made by witnesses that wdiere 
certain business interests are concerned, the Pre.ss Trust o! India has .shown 
willingness to accommodate them by not covering news which might effect 
them adversely, and that in some other ea.ses Pre.ss Tru.st of India has gone 
out of its way to cover news which might publicise certain private interests. 
There is a substratum of truth in several of these aJlegations. There has 
also been admitted laxity in the supervision oI accounts. They appear to 
have taken no steps to secure additional capital, which, according to them, 
is required for the conduct of the busines.i, nor have they been able to 
augment their revenues so as to cover theif expenditure. We are convinced 
that it is essential, especially in the present international and national cir- 
cumstances, that the nows agency should work at the maximum of ofhciency 
and integrity and for this purpo.se we recommend the setting up of a public 
corporation to take over the running of the Press Trust of India. 


413. A public corporation formed otherwise than on the basis of a co- 
operative effort by the nev/spapers may be open to the danger of news- 
papers not taking a service from them. The corporation has therefore, 
to be built up on the present foundation.s, whatever may be the changes 
in its control and operation. 


414 Reorganisation of finances.— We expect that when our recommemla- 
tions for the revision of newspaper tariffs and All India Radio subscriptions 
are ‘implemented the revenues of the Press Trust of India would be on a 
sounder basis, and would permit, oven after absorbing a certain amount 


148 


nf loss of commercial revenues, of a much needed increase in the expendi- 
ture on staff. The reduction in reception charges to the level of bare cost 
would release a substantial sum for current expenditure on increments over- 
due Another item of overhead charges which we feel should be got rid of 
fs the interest on debentures. We would recommend that the Post and 
Telegraph Department should take over the existing stock of teleprinters 
and spares at current valuation, and pay for these to ^ 

This should place the agency in sufficient funds to pay off immediately a 
great part of the debentures. 


415 Transfer of responsibility for teleprinters.— Our suggestion is that 
the teleprinters should be hired by the Press Trust of India for use in their 
offices, and by the newspapers directly for the reception of the news «« vices 
In the early days of the development of the news agency, when ^ht Pos 
and Telegraph Department had not introduced teleprinters for handling 
telegraph traffic, there might have been some justification for the Asswiaffid 
Press of India to install their own teleprinters. Today when the Post and 
Telegraph are using a large number of teleprinters and are also contemplat- 
ing the establishment of a factory for their manufacture, there appears to be 
no more necessity for individual users to buy their own 
there is for them to run their own telegraph lines. The and Tele- 

graphs Department would be the proper authority to provide these instru- 
Lnts. Apart from the immediate relief to the Press Trust of India because 
they would not have to finance this capital investment, there would be t e 
long term advantage that the Posts and Telegraphs Department as a large 
scale user would be in touch with modern developments and take precautions 
against obsolescence in a manner which individual users cannot 
The practice would be then the same as in the case of telephone.^ that the 
Posts and Telegrams Department provide the instruments at both ends on 
a rental and charge for the connecting lines on the basis of actual usage. 
We have heard it said that the Po.sts and Telegraphs Department may find 
themselves faced with administrative difficulties if they have to hire out 
both the instruments and the line. We do not attach much value to this 
obicction As we have mentioned earlier, the Department do just what we 
have recommended in the case of telephones, and instances are not unknown 
where the Posts and Telegraphs have hired out telephone circuits on an 
annual basis. On the contrary we feel that the Post and Telegraph woul 
be in a much better position if even the instruments at each terminal belong 
to them and arc let out to the user on specific conditions. We cannot esti- 
mate what the current value is of the teleprinters m the possession of 
Press Trust of India or whether it would fall short of the book value. We 
would however suggest that in the interests of rationalisation of the internal 
communications in this country the Posts and Telegraphs Department shou d 
now take over what has been left too long in private hands. We fully 
expect that the newspapers would also benefit greatly by this transfer, 
because owing to the better organisation that the Posts and Telegraphs can 
provide for maintaining these instruments in good condition and repairing 
defects, the frequent periods of faulty operation, failure, and delay in 
restoration of circuits would no longer occur. We recommend tlmt if the 
installation and maintenance of teleprinters is taken over by the Posts and 
Telegraphs Department, there should be a reduction in the fixed charge 
payable by newspapers to Press Trust of India to the extent of Rs. 1,000 
per annum. This is the rental charged by the Posts and Telegraphs Depart- 
ment at present, and the newspapers would therefore incur no additional 


149 


expenditure because of the transfer. If subsequently the Post and Tele- 
graph Department are able to make a reduction in this charge as a conse- 
quence of a widened scale of operations, the benefit will accrue to the news- 
papers. We have reason to believe that owing to various factors, the actual 
cost to the Press Trust of India of installing and maintaining these machines 
is higher than this figure and more than it should properly be. The result 
of the transfer would therefore be to wipe out the deficit that the Press 
Trust of India is probably incurring under this head at present. Paper for 
use in the machines can be supplied by the Press Trust of India at actual 
cost, or if the newspapers prefer to buy it directly, the news agency may 
allow a further rebate on the fixed charge of Rs. 600 per annum in the case 
of subscribers to the Class I Service and Rs. 300 per annum to those taking 
the Class II Service. 


416. Loan from Government.— This transfer of teleprinters would release 
a substantial sum. and if combined with efficient collection of the arrears 
due from newspapers, including those controlled by Directors of the Press 
Trust of India, funds should be released which will enable Press Trust of 
India redeem their debentures promptly. To take care of any balance that 
may be left over, to pay off other sundry liabilities that they have incurred, 
and to provide a certain amount of working capital, we recommend that 
Government of India should pay the Press Trust of India a long-term advance 
without interest for say, thirty years, of such amount as may be lound 
necessary, up to a sum of Rs. 10 lakhs. 


417. Change in Constitution of Press Tri^t of India.— This assistance 
from Government in the form of revision of all Government and All India 
Radio subscriptions, reduction in reception charges, taking over teleprinter 
stocks and finally the interest-free long-term advance should be conditional 
on the shareholders of Press Trust of India approving certain changes in the 
constitution and management of the Press Trust of India. The existing 
organisation should be transferred to a Public Corporation established by 
an Act of Parliament or operating under a Charter from the Presiden . 


418. We feel confident that the spirit of public service which induced 
a number of newspapers to subscribe the capital required for taking over 
the Associated Press of India at a time when Reuters were no longer inte- 
rested in running it, would persuade them today, when Press Trust of India 
is in difficulties, to agree to the transfer of the organisation as it stands 
to the new public corporation. Ultimately the purpose of the agency is 
only to serve the newspapers, and its success depends solely on the dis- 
interested manner in which they further their common interests by helping 
the agency to grow. 

419. The Press Trust of India has in the course of its working incurred 
losses amounting to a substantial proportion of its capital. We would like 
to emphasise in this connection that the losses we refer to are not really 
losses in the usual sense of the term. The newspapers themselves are the 
shareholders, and if the agency has been recovering from them, as sub- 
scriptions less than what it cost the agency to provide the service, the 
shareholders have had the benefit each year of the amount that is now 
.shown as an accumulated loss. Each year, they have paid for the services 
less than in equity they should have, and have thus got their money back 
in instalments. The lo.ss, if any, is only to those shareholders (publishers 
of monthlies and periodicals) who did not take a news service and could 
not therefore get their capital back in this manner. We expect also that 



when the steps which are now reported to have been taken to recover 
arrears are completed, it will be found that the organisation has to write 
off more sums than have been provided for, and would be left with only 
a sum of a lakh of rupees out of its original capital that would be repre- 
sented by its miscellaneous assets and the building in New Delhi. The 
present shareholders might agree to take shares in the Corporation of one- 
fourth the value now held by them in the Press Trust of India and continue 
as shareholders, or they might be paid off the equivalent sum in cash and 
transfer the assets to the Corporation. We would ourselves favour the 
former even though it would mean the continuance of a “proprietorial’' 
interest in the agency. The proper form of organisation for a news agency 
is a non-profit cooperative owned by newspapers, and the new Corporation 
may well have this form, the only change from the present position being 
that the contiol is VGste*d in a Board of Trustees constituted as set out below. 
Whatever success the Press Trust of India has achieved so far and whatever 
goodwill it has built up in India or abroad is due to the efforts of its mem- 
bers and we would certainly like that connection maintained. The change 
from a board of directors to a board of trustees has been recommended in 
order to eliminate the effect of individual self-interest on the operation of the 
agency, to create public confidence and to permit Government to make a 
long-term loan. We trust that our recommendations would appeal to the 
shareholders of the Press Trust of India and that they would agree to the 
transfer of the agency to a Corporation set up as suggested by us. 


420. Press Trust of India is a public corporation.— The entire responsi- 
bility of the management of the new Corporation should be entrusted to the 
Boaid of Tiustees. The Chairman of the Board should be appointed by the 
Chief Justice of India. Fifty per cent, of the members of the Board, exclud- 
ing the Chairman, should be persons uncoimected with the newspaper indus- 
try. (One of us thinks that they should be 75 per cent, of the total num- 
ber.) The remaking Trustees should be selected from the industry itself, 
giving representation to newspapers, big and small, and working journalists 
generally. At least one of the Trustees should be an emplovee of the Press 
Trust of India. The members of the Board will be nominated by the Chair- 
man and will hold office for three years 


421. No indi\'idual havung personal interest in the revenue and expen- 
diture of Press Trust of India should be connected with the management. 
No Trustee should concern himself with the day to day management of the 
Corporation. The Trustees should appoint a Manager who will be in sole 
charge of the entire organisation. They should also appoint a Chief Editor 
who would be responsible to the Trustees for the output of the News Agency. 
To provide him with the necessary profe.ssional advice, the Trustees should 
appoint a panel of editorial consultants at the four metropolitan centres. 
This panel should meet once a month and forward their written suggestions 
and criticism of the previous month^s output to the Chief Editor for guidance. 
It would be the responsibility of the Chief Editor to answer to the Trustees 
regarding the manner of his compliance with the suggestions offered. Our 
recommendations for the revision of tariffs of the Press Trust of India, the 
transfer of the responsibility for purchase and maintenance of teleprinters 
to Government, a concession in respect of reception charges, and an increase 
in the subscriptions paid by All India Radio, should all be taken together 
along with our recommendations for the reconstitution of the Press Trust of 
India as a public Corporation, managed by a Board of Trustees. 


422. Need for a eonipeting service. — We have earlier stressed the necessity 
of having at least two news agencies each competing with the other, and also 
serving as a corrective to the other. 

423. United Press of India is the only other news agency which affords 
competition to Press Trust of India. However, the advantages that could be 
derived from two competing agencies are denied to Indian newspapers to 
some extent, because the news coverage of United Press of India is not as 
extensive as that of Press Trust of India. Our analysis has shown that the 
average wordage of the Press Trust of India’s service is a 1 title under three 
times of the full United Press of India service. This appears to be the main 
reason why the number of papers depending exclusively on Press Trust of 
India is much larger than those depending only on United Press of India. 
We therefore recommend that the United Press of India should increase 
the volume of news so that the Press has at its disposal two news agencies 
of comparable standing. 

424. Regional :i('rvice.s from United Piiess of India. — We have already 
referred to the regional service that the United Press of India has developed 
in Bengal. We believe it will be possible and also desirable for the United 
Press of India to develop similar regional services in the areas around Delhi, 

'Bombay and Madras. Such regional services can form a special feature 
of United Press of India and would improve the value and utility of the 
service. We suggest that the United Press of India undertake this because 
we fee) th^t the expansion of the overseas coverage by the appointment of 
correspondents at different world centres which we have recommended in 
the case Of Press Trust of India would fully absorb the manpower and 
- financial resources of that organisation. We would therefore prefer the 
■* development of regional services to be undertaken by the United Press of 
India. ‘ ’ 

425. United Press of India tariffs and services.-— We have already referred 
to the numerous instances v/here the United Press of India have deviated 

■ from the tariffs prescribed by them for the various classes of service. They 
have told us that they take into account in each case the capacity of the 
paper, to pay ► as well as the importance and circulation of the paper. It 
seems clear that the agency has been willing to accept in certain cases much 
low6r Isubscriptions than they demand in others. We consider that such 
"a state of affairs is unsatisfactory and would recommend that the 
tigency should adopt a rate of tariff whicli is uniformly applied to all the 
papers. Considering the present needs of newspapers, we suggest that United 
Press of India should have only one class of service. This would cover the 
international, national and regional news. The foreign and all-India news 
would be common to all the papers while the regional news would be exclu- 
. siv^ to each region but ultimately of roughly the same volume in every 
region. The United Press of India may adopt the same tariff as has been 
recommended for II serv.c*e of the Press Trust of India. Such taiiff 

on the present strength of subscribers would bring in an annual revenue of 
about Rs. 9 lakhs from newspapers as against Rs. 6 lakhs at present. We 
expect that the newspapers would be willing to pay the increase of about 
Rs. 3 lakhs- in their subscription if the definite improvements in the service 
which we have suggested in respect of volume as well as the extra coverage 
of regional news are brought about. The increase in revenue would suffice 
to wipe out, the present deficit and provide sufficient surplus for improving 
the output of the agency and organise the regional news services. 


152 


426. Organisation of the United Press of India.— The United Press of India 
is a public limited company. Some of the proprietors of newspapers are 
directors of this company. In cur opinion, this form of management is no 
desirable in the case of a news agency of national importance. A good 
deal has already been said about the various unhealthy trends exhibited 
by this form of management in the case of Press Trust of India, and the 
same observations would apply perhaps with greater force in respect of 
United Press of India. We do not however recommend for it the same 
form of ownership as recommended for Press Trust of India. We would 
suggest a trust form of management for United Press of India wherein 
the management is entrusted to a Board of Trustees in which there should 
be representation for subscribing newspapers and the staff of the United 
Press of India. 

427. We find that in the organisational S'?t-up of United Press of India, 
the same person is in charge of the editorial as well as the managerial side. 
We have discussed at length the need for separation of these two functions 
in the case of newspapers in order that proper standards of journalism may 
be maintained. The observations made in that connection apply with^ much 
greater force in the case of news agencies. It is essential for the objective 
and unbiassed presentation of news that business considerations do not enter 
in editing of news and this can be properly achieved only if the persons 
in charge of editorial and managerial sides are different. We have already 
recommended that the Press Trust of India should employ two executives, 
a general manager and a chief editor, and would recommend this for the 
United Press of India also. These two would be responsible directly to 
the Board of Trustees. 


428. Concession.s from Government. — We are recommending below certain 
measures, that the Government could take, to help in putting the economy 
of United Press of India on sound lines. These measures are recommended 
in the expectation that the United Press of India brings about a change in the 
form of control and organisational set-up as recommended above. 

429. We have alre^ady referred to the heavy landing charges which the 
news agencies have to pay to the Government and have recommended their 
reduction in the case of Press Trust of India. The same considerations would 
app]y to United Press of India also. We would also recommend that the 
Posts and Telegraph Department should take over the present teleprinter 
machines of the agency and look after their maintenance. The agency has 
stated to us that since 1948, when the teleprinters were installed the revenue 
has not been able to keep pace with the expenditure and the agency has 
consistently incurred losses. The reason was that the agency could not 
increase the rates charged to newspapers sufficiently to cover the extra cost 
which it had incurred consequent on the installation of teleprinters. In any 
case it w’ould be more economical for the Posts and Telegraph Department 
to run the teleprinters. Any additional assistance needed to help United 
Press of India out of the difficult position in which they are at present could 
best be given by an adjustment against the amounts outstanding against 
them in the accounts of the Posts and Telegraph Department in respect of 
pa.st periods when they have been operating under a large deficit. 

430. The Directors of United Press of India have expressed to us their 
feeling of grievance in respect of pa 3 'ment made to them by All India Radio 
for their news services. This is now Rs. 50,000 per annum, and the directors 
said that this amount compares very unfavourably with the amount of Rs. 3 


lakhs received by the Press Trust of India and that in fairness the share of 
United Press of India should be substantially enhanced. We Iiave examined 
this point in some detail and we find that in actual practice, All India Radio 
utilises the United Press of India news service sparingly while the Press 
Trust of India service is much more freely used. However, it would be 
inequitable to pay the two agencies in the proportion of volume of news 
utilised. The two services would naturally have a good portion of their 
news on common topics, and even if the reports of one agenc.y are utilised, 
the other is needed as a corrective. We have already indicated that, in 
general, All India Radio is paying much less than its due share to the news 
agencies. In our recommendations in the Appendix XXXIII for revision of 
United Press of India iarilTs, we have suggested that All India Radio should 
pay a royalty to United Press of India at the flat rate of annas two per 
licence holder for the use of their service. This waiuld double the present 
revenue of United Press of India from this source. If, as suggested by us, 
United Press of India develop their rcjgiona! services in different parts of the 
country, and make it available to All India Radio, or make their present 
service more compreliensive in other directions. Government will no doubt 
consider the question of revising the tariff further. 

431. We have confined our examination so far to the two major Indian 
news agencies. The third agency wiiich is also operating in this country 
is the Hindustan Samachar, wlrich specialises in providing a service to small 
newspapers in Ifu language of the paper itself. Th(\v have a few offices 
distributed over certain stales, whcM'c (he nows is received and translated, 
for distribution by band to the subscribing papers. At one time this agency 
counted among its sub.scribers the Uniic'd Slates Information Service, who 
were paying a higher subcriplion than was paid by newspapers. We are 
informed that this subscription has now been discontinued. 

432. In addition to the news agencies we have discussed, there are a 
few agencies, operating in the Uttar Pradesh and m Hyderabad, which supply 
a news service to the papers. Th.ese agencies consist very often of only one 
free-lance journalist, who supplies copies of his reports to three or four 
newspapers. Some of them employ correspondents in the districts and cull 
items from their reports tor inclusion in their daily service. Their sphere 
of operation is however generally restricted, and the majority of them 
cover only the town in which they work. They cannot therefore be con- 
sidered news agencies as that term is usually understood. A description 
of the agencies that have come to our notice is included in the Appendix 
XXXIV. While these agencies may serve a useful purpose, the fact that 
they are organisationally and financially weak renders them very liable 
to external inffuences and we have had occasion to refer to this aspect 
elsewhere. 


433. Service to newspapers outside India. — We consider it one of the 
functions of Indian news agencies to provide a service of Indian news for 
the use of newspapers in other countries. It is no doubt true that at pre- 
sent, coverage of news from other countries is very small in the case of 
papers published in Europe or America. The smallness of the space allotted 
is not entirely the fault of the nc'ws agencies. A survey conducted by 
the International Press Institute indicated that newspapers, particularly in 
the United States, exhibit .scant interest in foreign news and that they do 
not make use even of what the news agency provides. They are perhaps 
justified in doing so by their knowledge of the taste of their readers. (There 
is a story of a Canadian paper which published, for five days running, the 
18 Mofl&B. 



same telegraphic despatch from Korea but excited no comment from its 
readers. This was at a time when Canadians were fighting and shedding 
blood in the Korean war, and it could legitimately be expected that the 
majority of readers would take some interest in news from that front.) 
There are no national newspapers as such in the United States, though 
copies of a few East Coast papers are sold over large parts of the country. 
Even in Britain the proportion of space allotted to foreign news is very small 
except in the ‘Times’ and in the ‘Manchester Guardian’, and these two papers 
depend predominantly on despatches from their own correspondents. The 
bulk of the papers, c.specially the mass circulation papers, present only 
news originating from within the country, very often in a sensational form. 

434. We would like to quote in this connection certain figures compiled 
by the International Press Institute. In the period of four weeks during 
which they conducted the study the space given to news items with a foreign 
date line in American newspapers ranged from 0.7 of one column a day 
for one paper to 32 columns a day for another. For 93 papers surveyed 
the average was 4.4 columns a day. This is roughly 4 per cent, of the 
total wordage distributed by the news agencies. Certain papers which main- 
tain their owni correspondents abroad did however print more material 
ranging from an average of about 36 columns per day for a paper with a 
high proportion of foreign news and 7 columtis for another with a low 
proportion of foregin news. Correspondents working in India for foreign 
newspapers said in evidence that in the case of newspapers which maintain 
their own correspondents there would be a tendency to use only his des- 
patches and to ignore agency reports. It would, therefore, appear to be a 
difficult matter for any news agency to place a large volume of international 
news into American newspapers. Some of them are not interested in foreign 
news and therefore print very little of it. Others have varying degrees 
of interest but they depend on despatches from their own correspondents. 
The position in Europe is also not very satisfactory from the point of view 
of pr: . ntation of Indian news. 

435. Meagre coverage of Indian news abroad. — During the period re- 
viewed, five principal news agencies which supplied the European Press 
carried on their lines the following percentage and totals of Indian news: 


Percentage of Total column 
all foreign inches 

news (i**=35 words) 


Agency A .... . 

• 

1*2 

266 

Agency B ..... . 

• 

II 

264 

Agency C ..... 

• 

0*9 

324 

Agency D 

• 

0-8 

148 

Agenc>^ E 


0*1 

Total 

14 

1,016 


436. In each of the countries named below one paper of high circulation 
and one of low circulation gave the following totals and proportions of Indian 


155 


news as compared to all foreign news material during the four weeks re- 
ferred to: 


# 




% 


m 


m 


4 


Indian news in eight West European newspapers 
(In percentage ot total foreign text and in column) inches : i inch ™ 35 words). 


I 

j Circulation 
I Papers 


Low 

Circulation 

Papers 


1 [ I 

Per cent' Col. jper centj 
j inches I I 


Col 

inches 


Belgium 
France 
Italy . 
Netherlands . 
Sweden 
Switzerland . 
United Kingdom 
Germany 


49 : 

0-9 

6 1 

0-8 

26 1 

0*2 

79 

1*5 

0 

0-0 

61 

0-4 

20 1 

2-3 

17 1 

0-9 


45 

21 

5 

44 

o 

14 

43 

20 


437. Distribution of Indian news through Reuters and Agence France 
Presse.— These difficulties of getting Indian news published would not, how- 
ever, take away from the responsibility of the news agencies to make avail- 
able to the editors, for use at least as reference material, a day to day picture 
of happenings in every part of this country. Formerly when the Press Trust of 
India were partners of Reuters, the bulk of the service of the Press Trust of 
India was made available to Reuters for distribution by them within the 
United Kingdom and abroad. Evidence on the extent of use made of such 
material has been conflicting, but there is general agreement that in the ear- 
lier period of the partnership, Reuters did make much use of reports and des- 
patches from India, while later it became increasingly difficult for the 
Indian representatives at London to exercise any influence on the selection of 
material for distribution. With the conclusion of the new arrangements with 
Reuters, it is not merely impossible to exert any influence for securing a fair 
hearing for India, but it is also not possible for India to ascertain whether 
any use is being made at all of the material sent and, if so, in what manner. 
No doubt Reuters are at present employing an Indian at their London Desk, 
but this is more or less in the capacity of an adviser on the selection of 
material to be sent to India, and this adviser has no status on the editorial 
board. Similarly, in the case of the Agence France Presse, the news file of 
United Press of India is at their disposal, but there never has been, nor is 
there at present, any means of ensuring the use of vital despatches from India 
or even of verifying what has been said in the Agence France Presse’s service 
to other countries. 


438. We consider that it is a very unsatisfactory state of affairs when we 
cannot ensure that our own reading of current events in this vast country 
secures entry into the editorial offices of newspapers in other countries. The 
Press Trust of India is at present attempting to extend its activities to Afgha- 
nistan, Nepal and Japan. In the first two countries, journalism is very little 



156 


developed. In the case of Japan, the free flow of information 
doubtedly help to build up mutual understanding. China, foi mstanct, 
pends greatly on the Tass service for supplementing tlie reports filed by i 
own small news agency and might be interested in a comprehensiv^ 

service from India, but so far no attempts have been made to develop th s 
link. We understand, however, that the Press Trust of India is nt prese t 
handicapped by the hi,gh cost of transmission as well as by the povei y 
technical facilities at this end. We would refer in this connection to oui ^ - 
commendations in paragraph 405 for reciprocal arraiigemen s 
national news agencies of diflerent countries. 

439 News distribution through Government of India. “Supplementing the 
servic'e of Indian news sent abroad by the news agencies, the Extenml Pub^ 
licity Division of the External Affairs Ministry oi tne Government of India 
prepares daily bulletins of current news which are sent out m morse Code 
by wireless to Indian Missions abroad. Tlie morsecast lakes place live timec 
a day (on Saturdays there are only the lirst three morsecasts, and on other 
holidays there is only tlie third morsecast) as follow.s: — 


Time (Indian 
No. Standard Time) 


Region 


Approxi- 

mate 

words 


I. 

0900 

hours 

South East Asia 

2. 

1200 


Middle Hast . 

3 - 

1400 

j. 

General Service 1 . 

4 * 

1800 

yy 

World News Summary 

5 * 

2000 

y? 

General Service IT 


6o ■) 
6oo 
1;,200 
6od 

I,20D 


440. The two bulletinr: for South Ea.st Asia and the Midalo East Icaturo 
items of specific interest to tiie target area and supplement the general scrvice 
sent out twice daily. The W'm-ld News Summary is intcaded particularly for 
the needs of the Missions in Souih Ea.,! Asia and the Middle East and presents 
the world new.s from the Indian aii;;le. Each Indian Mission picks up these 
transmissions through its operator and prepares copies of the bulletins for its 
own use. It also issues selected items as a hand-out daily to the local press 
and oihers interested in the country in which it is situated. Tkese hand-outii 
are issued in English and or the most appropriate language. Such hand-outs 
are used either directly by the press in the region concerned or used as back- 
ground material. In addition to these daily hand-outs, Indian Missions abroad 
bring out bulletins which are issued weekly or fortnightly, eitlicr printed or 
cyclostyled, as shown in the Appendix XXXV. 



CHAPTER IX 


FEATURE SYNDICATES 


441. The term ‘‘Feature Syndicate” is applied to organi.sations which 
supply newspapers and periodicals with articles photographs, comic slrii>s. 
cartoons or other editorial matter and which derive tlieir pi’incipal source of 
income from these activities. According to tlie statistics that were made avaiU 
able to us, there were 34 of such Feature Syndicates o['erating in this coun- 
try. Our enquiries, however, elicited the information that 14 of the Indian 
syndicates and 9 of the foreign syndicates liad discon ,nued operation some 
time back, and there exist today only 9 Indian Feature Syndicates and . 
Foreign Feature Syndicates supplying Indian newspapers and periodicals. 

442. Indian Feature Syndicates. — Three of the Indian Feature Syndicates 

are located at Bombay-the India Press Sermce ihe National Press Syndicate 
and the Asian Press Sinvice. Tim first two deal with general subjects, po.i i 
cal economic and of cultural importance, botli Indian and foreign, wline tar 
last one specialises in Indian photo features liaving markets in loreign coun- 
tries. There are two feature syndieale.s in Delhi- ihe^Press New^ n.a ui < .> 

and the Indian News and Feature Syndicate. These Syndicales ceal V'* 
vauaely of subjects, both Indian and foreign. 4Tiere are two leidure oyndi- 


es at Calcutta -the Asian Prc'ss, and the drar Asueic News 


,\t Lucknow tiiere are two Feat m e 
n Hindi. TU'..'y arc Na\si-Sahiiv'’a 


Syndicate 


They generally deal wiili Indian topics. 

Syndicates and They distribute articles 

Samiti dealing with Indian- topics and Cine News and heatur. 
dealing with Indian Films. 

443 Fa'-eign Feature Syndicates. -The two Foreign Featiue yvndiMteH- 
the King Featnres Syndic-ate. New York, and the InicrnatK.nal 
New York, operate in India through Messrs. Advertising I dms oi It.dia Ltd., 
Bombay who are liieir sole .selling agents m this eounlry. Roth tl.e.M,^ .yvn 
rates are privately owned. The King Features Syndieate rovers a wide i.inge 
of subiects. including politics, cinemas, sports, fa.shions, etc. It 
daily strip.s, colour comics, puzzles and pastimes etc. Ar leles on Indian 
subjects are also distributed by it from lime to time, Ihe Inicrnatmna 
News Photo.s .supply news photos covering news of mteres. fiom a., Pj-yj 
.he world It chslributes magazine pictures, photo stories etc. Indian subj.cls 
„,.C Vo,,-. 1.V llm I™™ l„ ti..,., U . 5„ „n,l» 

•issi<'nnv'iil.s such as Sri Nehru’.s visit to the United State., ni . . ' “ 

Connnonwcalth Prime Ministers’ Conference held in London m .laiiu.a.y L.a . 

444. scope lor Feature Wa^H 

^nd sIveT^Sc^rSme Tnlo existence ^rter the intd of the^^t^^^^ 
very little staiT and the ”a' ni:;' of^lL^ance 

have any of papers, but, on the other hand. 

Tre'^aecd SinlyTnThe distribution of the output of one or two persons 


who form the ‘‘syndicate”. This naturally detracts from the value of the 
material that they could supply and reduces their importance as a source of 
features. The Trans-Asiatic News Service Ltd., started with some capital 
behind it and appears to have made an attempt at developing into a regular 
i eature Syndicate, devoting its full time to this work, but is reported to have 
been handicapped by serious losses. 

44 j. Ihcy have no uniform basis for charging the newspapers for the 
articles, nor any regular method of paying to the outside contributors. Some 
of the Feature Syndicates have stated to us that a few of the newspapers and 
periodicals make use of their material but do not pay; some of them even 
do not send a copy of the issue containing the articles to the Syndicate. In 
their turn, some of t he Feature Syndicates pay a definite remuneration to con- 
tributors, while some others pay only a percentage on net earnings on their 
articles the percentage varying from 50 to 75. In some cases article are re- 
ceived free by the Syndicates. We have also heard the complaint that con- 
tributors to the Syndicates often oiler their articles directly to newspapers at 
a cheap rate and thus it becomes difficult to produce syndicated material for 
general distribution. We find that the use of syndicated feature articles is in- 
ci easing in our Press. The increase is more* marked in the use of foreign 
features, comic strips and cartoons. Though in general the use of syndicated 
material has so far not prov^ed harmful, some of the foreign cartoon strips 
are likely to create a deplorable psychology among children. The method of 
presenting a story by a series of cartoons seems to us unobjectionable and 
has apparently proved a very useful technique, but we feel that often the 
themes serialised are undesirable. Some of them glorify crime, and others 
with a cultural background alien to India, tend to create a confusion of 
values. We find that the Press has not encouraged and in most cases not 
attempted to utilise Indian humorous art in comic strips and cartoons. We 
feel that such an attempt should be made and encouraged by the Press. 

^ 446. Feature syndicates can certainly perform a useful function for the 
Press as a whole. Considering the present requirements, the output of Indian 
syndicates is not adequate. The foreign syndicates have been able to place 
much more material before the public than Indian syndicates have been able 
to do. The Indian syndicates can, if they exert themselves, obtain good 
articles from competent writers in India on subjects of current interest and 
make them available to a large number of newspapers; this will enable the 
papers to publish really interesting and worthwhile material. But this they 
have signally failed to do so far. The success of the foreign syndicates is 
due to the more suitable quality of material that they offer and, to some 
extent, to the lack of enterprise on the part of Indian syndicates. 

447. One of the handicaps of Indian feature syndicates is the overlapping 
circulation of Indian newspapers, particularly the large English dailies, which 
so far have been the main consumers of syndicated material. In countries like 
the United States, most papers have only a local circulation, and it is possi- 
ble for a Syndicate to enter into arrangements with a number of different 
newspapers spread all over the country for the publication of the syndicate’s 
material. In fact this has gone to the extent of syndicated leading articles on 
topical subjects which are sent out by the syndicates for the benefit of news- 
papers which cannot secure suitable writers on intricate subjects. Similarly, 
many of the daily columns put out by well known “commentators” in the 
United States of America are syndicated all over the country. In India, most 
of the English papers sell in competition with one another and cover over- 
lapping territory. As a consequence, Indian publishers generally insist that 



169 


any articles supplied to them must be guaranteed to be exclusive to them 
before they would consider it. This narrows the scope for expanding use of 
syndicated material. In consequence, the cost of Indian syndicated material 
works out much higher than that of foreign material which can have a 
number of customers throughout the English-speaking world. Because of 
this insistence on exclusive rights, many writers prefer to submit their con- 
tributions directly to newspapers rather than to feature syndicates. It has 
been alleged that some writers have thus offered their material direct, after 
they had entrusted it to a syndicate for distribution. Such difru'ulties arise out 
of the fact that the syndicates have not established themselves as part of tVie 
Press and we expect that if they can really provide a service both to tlie 
writers and to ttie publishers, there is no reason why both of them should not 
make greater use of their services. We would like to emphasise that there 
appears to be considerable scope for syndicated material issued simultane- 
ously in various Indian languages. The cost of such an attempt would be high 
because it will be necessary for the syndicate to have the material rendered 
into different languages by competent writers. On the other hand, it would 
get over the difficulty created by overlapping of circulation and it should be 
possible for the syndicate to arrive at a regular arrangement with at least one 
newspaper in each language for publishing its output. It seems to us essen- 
tial that in addition Indian feature syndicates should also increase the pro- 
portion of really topical material that they issue. At present it would appeal 
that there is too great a tendency to emphasise the type of article that can go 
into a magazine at any time, rather than that which deals with topics that are 
currently in the headlines. Indian syndicates should also increase the range 
of their subjects. We find that lighter material circulated by foreign syndi- 
cates finds more ready acceptance from the public than the serious subjects 
which most often form the sole fare available from Indian syndicates. It is 
necessary to keep in mind that the bulk of this material is intended for 
publication in daily newspapers and should therefore be adapted for that 
type of readership. 

448. Foreign Markets. — One outcome of the lack of encouragement from 
the Indian Press has been the tendency of some Indian feature syndicates to 
look to markets elsewhere for their output. This w^ould bo praiseworthy but 
for the tendency that we have ^loticed in one or two instances for the syndi- 
cates to ignore or soft-pedal the Indian point of view in the treatment of the 
subject or to adopt a sensational manner or an approach not in keeping wdth 
the dignity of this country, perhaps in the hope that this would make it 
easier for them to sell their material abroad. While we would not suggest any 
outside check on their activities, w^e would certainly appeal to them to keep 
in mind the fact that any adverse conclusion that may be drawn from theii 
articles or photographs would be doubly harmful for the reason that it 
comes from an Indian source. 

449. Contributions by Government officials. — We would like to mention 
in this connection the considerable differences in practice in the distribution 
to the Press of articles and features written by employees of the Government 
of India and high dignitaries of States. In some cases we find that these 
articles have been distributed free to all newspapers in the form of hand- 
outs and are published by the new^spapers not as hand-outs but as articles 
appearing with a by-line. In other cases such contributions have been sent 
by the writers to Feature Syndicates for distribution and we were told that 
in certain cases the feature syndicates charged the newspapers for the publi- 
cation rights even though they had themselves received the contributions free 
of charge. 



160 


450. Feature Services by News Ag^encies. — Some of the news agencies used 
to run feature syndicates in conjunction with their news service and some 
foreign news agencies are still running such syndicates abroad. We think it 
a particularly useful addition to the activities of a new agency; having the 
machinery for distribution and an established set of clients, and being in the 
main current of news collection they would be able to judge which subjects 
are topical and place them readily. It seems to us, therefore, a pity that 
neither of the major Indian news ageru-ies has at present developed a feature 
service. 



CHAPTER X 


LIAISON WITH GOVERNMENT 

451. Governiiieiit and the Press. — With the ever increasing part that the 
state plays in the daily life of the people, newspapers today are concerned 
more and more with the functioning of the state and the policies that it 
follows. It is their responsibility to observe and report the acdivities of the 
state and to iriterpret them to the people; it is also their function to criticise, 
wherever they consider it necessary. 

452. We find that there is some appreciation of this function of the Press 
in Government circles, and it is generally agreed that such appreciation of 
the duties and responsibilities of the Press is gij^ater at the Centre than in 
the State Governments and in some State Governments more than in others. 
There is, however, an excessive tendency to consider the Press as a means 
of publicity for certain selected activities of the State or for certain indivi- 
duals, and insunicient importance is attached to the functioning of the Press 
as reporter and interpreter acting for the people. This is evidenced by the 
continuing expansion of the scope and activities of Press Information and 
Public Relations organisations in the Stale Governments and the compt^i’^tive 
neglect of machinery by which representatives of the Press could observe 
for themselves and report in their own way. 

453. Accreditation of Press Correspondents. — The Central Government has 
laid down certain rules in respect of accreditation of correspondents. These 
rules, while generally satisfactory, require certain modifications in order 
to meet the difliculties that the Press has experienced and to avoid the 
complaints that have been made. The most important is with respect to the 
Committee that advises Government regarding accreditation. At oresent this 
Committee is nominated by the All India Newspaper Editors’ Conference. 
Numerous complaints have been made regarding the lack of representative 
character of this Committee and its inability to sense the difficulties of work- 
ing journalists. It would appear that some at least of this criticism is based 
on the fact that the associations of working journalists do not have any 
representation on the Committee. We would recommend the formation of a 
special Accreditation Committee in consultation with the different organisa- 
tions of newspapermen, the committee to consist of six to eight members 
normally resident in Delhi, of whom 50 per cent, may be working editors, 
elected or nominated by the all-India organi.sations of Editors, and 50 per 
cent, correspondents and working journalists elected or nominated by the 
all-India organisations of working journalists, all being of at least five years 
standing. 

454. The tests laid down in Rule 5 of the Central Accreditation Rules for 
accreditation appear to be adequate but the conditions prescribed a? to 
minimum circulation of a paper entitling it to be considered for accreditation 
should be relaxed in the case of periodicals dealing with economic and political 
affairs. Rule 2 would require modification to substitute this Accreditation 


18 Mofl&B. 


162 


Committee in place of the Central Press Advisory Committee. The decision 
to refuse or cancel accreditation should also be taken only in (Consultation 
with the Accreditation Committee, and rule 7(2) is required to be modified 
for this purpose. Rule 14 may also be modified to provide that no accredita- 
tion should be withdrawn or cancelled unless the editor of the paper con- 
cerned has been consulted in the matter. 

455. We have heard a number of complaints regarding accreditation of 
individual papers forming part of a chain, group or multiple unit. We feel 
that ncw.spapers which belong to a chain or group should not be given 
separate accreditation for each unit if this affects adversely the claims of 
single unit papers with the requisite qualifications. Where, howevei, tneie is 
no restriction on the total number that may be accredited, we see no objection 
to separate accreditation for each unit of a chain or group. In the case of 
multiple editions of the same paper, there appears to be no difficulty in one 
correspondent being accredited for all local editions, and we are not in favour 
of separate accreditation of a corre.spondent for each publication unit. 

456. Accreditation is gi^^n to a correspondent only as representative of a 
particular newspaper. If there is a lapse on the part of the correspondent, 
he may be disaccredited after consultation with the editor concerned, but if 
there is a lapse on the part of the newspaper which he represents, the 
question whether the paper should be given accreditation at all would have 
to be discussed witli the Committee before any action is taken to vdthdraw 
accreditation. Disaccreditation should not be utilised as a method of punish- 
ing Iiabitual indulgence in scurrilous writing or persistently inacimrate 
reporting. The grounds on which a newspaper can be disaccredited should 
be willul publication of false reports emanating from the centre where the 
correspondent is stationed, mala fide and incorrect reports and abuse of 
confidence, 

457. In the case of State Governments, we found that the rules for accredi- 
tation, where they had been formulated, were not sufficiently comprehensive 
and left too much to the discretion of the officers responsible. We would 
suggest, in their case also, the formation of local committees to advise the 
Governments and the adoption of rules based on the Central Government 
rules to govern accreditation and disaccreditation. 

458. Access to official sources. — Complaints have been made that access to 
official sources of information has been denied in some cases to accredited 
correspondents. The State Governments have explained to us the administra- 
tive difficulties that might arise in the case of unrestricted access to all offices 
and departments of Government. Having considered these difficulties, we 
recommend that press correspondents should have the right to meet Ministers, 
Chief Secretaries, Secretaries to Government and Heads of district adminis- 
tration. They should also be permitted free access to such centres as railway 
platforms and airports subject only to the requirements of security. Another 
of the difficulties of correspondents has been the multiplicity of permits and 
passes required for visiting various places. It should be the function of the 
Accreditation Committees, as soon as they are formed, to examine this point 
and suggest measures whereby one permit issued by the competent authority 
would be sufficient to ensure identification and admission of a press represen- 
tative to all sources of news. 

459. Press Conferences. — In the caie of official press conferences, the 
practice has been to invite only accredited correspondents. It has been 
suggested that there should be no such restriction on admission. Having in 



view the practical difficulties, we do not recommend any change in the present 
procedure. The question of off-the-record conferences dealing with high 
policy and any restriction on admission to such conferences even of accredited 
correspondents should be left to be decided by Government in consultation 
with professional organisations. In this connection, we would like to refer 
to the question of lavish parties held by for*eign Information Services and 
other foreign organisations. An instance was mentioned in evidence of how 
all the correspondents in a particular theatre of war practised abstinence 
from alcoholic drinks for a number of daj^s in order to guard against involun- 
tary disclosure of any details of General Ei.senhower’s plan for invading 
Europe, in respect of which they had been taken into confidence. A former 
Director of Military Intelligence Services iti another country has recently 
remarked that cocktail parties are the greatest headaches of security officers. 
While we see little danger of Indian correspondents losing their c bjectivity 
or being biased as a result of such parties, the danger does exist of their 
making incautious statements at such parties, and Government would be quite 
justified in excluding from such o(T-the-record coriferences those^ coi respon- 
dents who would be doubtful risks from the security point of view. 

460. Press facilities.- -The facilities placed at the disposal of the Press 
Delhi by the Government of India are inadequate and should be improved. 
While we cannot say how they compare with similar provision in othcn 
countries, it is obvious that by themselves they are not sufficient to meet the 
needs of the press representatives. We are informed that the facilities at 
Madras and Lucknow are satisfactory, but that at Calcutta they are not. We 
were unable to in.spect these facilities ourselves but would suggest that the 
local Accreditation Committees should pay special attention to this aspect. 

461. In Parliament, the present Press Gallery facilities are satisfactory. 
At present the Speaker is advised in the matter of Press Gallery Tickets by 
an ad hoc committee appointed by him for this purpose. It would appear 
from the evidence placed before us that the Press Gallery Association, consist- 
ing as it does of the reporters who attend the session of Parliament, would 
perhaps be in a better position to help the Speaker in this matter if he 
consults them. Also such questions as seating in the Press Gallery, about 
which complaints have been made, can probably be settled quite satisfac- 
torily by such consultation. The present rules for the issue of passes to the 
Central Hall and to the Lobby require that a correspondent, to be eligible, 
must have functioned in Delhi for a certain specified period. It has been 
represented to us that this rule would automatically exclude representatives 
of foreign newspapers and news agencies who are invariably engaged for 
service in India for a period shorter than that prescribed for eligibility . We 
are confident that if this difficulty is brought to the notice of the Speaker, 
some means could be found for removing their disability in this regard. 

462. Despatches of foreign correspondents. — We have considered carefully, 
and rejected the suggestion that despatches sent by cable or wireless by 
foreign correspondents located in India should be scrutinised in the first 
instance by some responsible authority and permitted to go out only if con- 
sidered unobjectionable. Any scrutiny of this sort would amount to censorship' 
which is not at all desirable. 

463. Quite a great deal of what the correspondents send out does not get 

printed, and even if it does, it should be the responsibility of the Indian 

Missions abroad to keep a watch on what appears in the foreign Press and 
to correct or contradict any inaccurate presentation. We are not sure if 

this part of their duties has received sufficient attention. If they find it 


m 


necessary, they could always consult Delhi on the subject and arm theih- 
selves with authoritative information. In the majority of cases it should prove 
sufficient to appraise the correspondent of the actual position and leave it 
to him to correct in subsequent reports any false impression that he might 
have created. In extreme cases of tendentious or inaccurate reporting, it 
is always open to the Governnoent of India to withdraw accreditation from 
the correspondent. 

464. No set of conceivable measures can ensure that the foreign press 
would print only items which agree with the Indian viewpoint or are 
favourable to this country. There will always be some adverse reportage on 
India. It is the price paid lor guaranteeing a free press, and we consider 
that our reputation for maintaining a free Press is worth all the harm caused 
by adverse reports that may be sent out. The value of this reputation is that 
news items emanating from India are not now questioned anywhere on the 
ground of government interference. Any suspicion of undue interference 
with reportage such as would be induced by any soi*t of restrictions, delays, 
or the like, would lose., us this reputation. Reports emanating from India 
will then carry no conviction, as is now the position with reports from countiies 
where dictatorial regimes exist. We are convinced that effective means exist 
for dealing with persistent tendentious reporting and that inc'orrect or tenden- 
tious reports can be elTectively dealt with by the jiresent system under which 
Indian Missions abroad cable suc-h items to Delhi for information and obtain 
suitable guidance. We therefore recommend that there should beMio change 
in the position as it exists today. It was a matter of pleasure to us to be 
told by representatives of the Foreign Corre.spondents Association thai they 
have not encountered any difficulties in carrying out their work and that the 
Press in India is not less free than in any other country in the world. 

465. Government publicity organisations. — The Government of India and 
practically all the Governments of the States have an organisation for the 
distribution of publicity material to the Press and to the public. Judging by 
the volume of material that the newspapers carry which originates from these 
organisations it would seem that they are amply vindicating their existence. 
We had attempted to assess the proportion of such material to the total 
contents of a newspaper, but found that in many cases the newspapers did 
not acknowledge the source. In a large number of instances they had attri- 
buted obvious press releases to their own correspondent, conscience apparently 
having been satisfied by rewriting the opening paragraph. Our impression 
is that while Government is big news, newspapers are publishing far too 
many handouts obviously because material is made available to them in ready 
form at no cost. 

466. While from the point of view of the Government, these organisations 
may be considered to have achieved their purpose, the Press has not been 
equally satisfied. The major complaint is that the habit of issuing Press 
Notes in great detail and on almost every possible occasion takes away the 
initiative of the reporters and correspondents whose major activity now is 
to collect the releases and pass them on to their papers. The officials respon- 
sible who are called Information Officers, Public Relations Officers, Directors 
of Public Relations, Directors of Information, Directors of Publicity and so 
on, have argued, not without some justification, that the present procedure 
ensures that even the smallest paper with the most unenterprising correspon- 
dent gets the benefit of all information released by Government, while if 
matters were left to individual initiative, the papers who can have abler 
correspondents would have an advantage over those not so well placed. They 



aiso feel that the present practice of putting everything down on paper and 
handing copies around works more reliably because there is very little risk 
of the correspondent making a mistake or omitting an essential ponU. Um 
attitude has been extended to its logical conclusion m "'“s Part 
where all newspapers have been told that they should attempt 

ment release in extenso or leave it out altogether but should not attempt 

any editing or rewriting. 

467. We have referred earlier in this chapter 1o what we < onsidei tlit 
essential right of reporters and eorrespondents to have ‘'’J-'''®!'® '‘’J 
source of news In so far as certain State Governments had bamud such 
direct approach and insisted that reporters should apply only to t.ie 
lion Omcor, we would consider the arrangement unsatisi^ctory Irom 
of view of the public. Even when a Press Note has been 
be the duty of the correspondent to supplement the release 
of other points as he feels is nece.ssary for a proper appreciation ol 
subject matter For this purpose he should be in a position to put ^ 

nnd elicit ~ However thoroughly an Information Ofheer may be 

™ rr t r 

policy .„d that i„ a large numbea »< ““ an imroach ui 

Dirnetbr baa bis off,™ a. at ».l„„itaiivo level 

S,l“\°L”«S’ a.;?that eorrespanrlents .sbould alaa m.ite U-o 

fullest use of such access. 

presentation of matcnal. ano rmi i The Principal Information 

sibiUty of the Ministry or wh^vork in close 

Officer has a number of deputies and “sponsible for the preparation 

association with suggested to us that such material would 

of material for release. ^ Tr} in itq nreoaration were permanent 

be more clTcclivo it the officer, rbanged aronnrl 

officials of the Ministries rather . *^„respnt arrangement contradictions 
from time to time. Even under ,„ot been obviated, 

between releases from one Mry^dJ^^^^^^ eentralisatl.n of control 

and the degree of co-ordmation b 

under the Principal ,;;^,LtraUsation may be accom- 

have liked. In the f, ‘ with conflicting claims from 

panied by the risk of t e P.^ appeals The requirements of the Press 

different Ministries °V^‘^El 1 erSter by a system of eenlralised releases which 
would, in our opinion, be 1 approach the administrative heads of 

also leaves the correspondents tree to approacn 

the departments concerned. 

469. Government pre^ hL" noEprexlucied 

Directorates spoon-feed the , ^ ^hey have failed to prepare material 

wbcl U» ropen ,,bc Coffipany Law 


166 


Amendment Committee, which was both iengthy and intricate, was released 
lo the Public, the Pre.ss is reported to have been in diflicultics because the 
review of the Committee’s findings was not .simultaneously ready but was 
released later. In the States there appear to have been instances where only 
the summary was made available but the main report was not relea.sed to 
the Press e.g. the report of the Committee on the separation of tlie executive 
and the judiciarv in Madras. It would appear that at least in certain States 
the former practice was to furnish editors of responsible newspapers with an 
advance con.y of the report, well ahead of the date of release to the publii , 
so that the newspapers could prepare their own reviews for publication while 
respecting the deadline prescribed. We would recommend this procedure for 
wherever possible. 

470. A more serious complaint was that the summaries prepared lor 
release to the Press were not always fair to the original report. Omission ol 
certain features of the full report, or emphasis on certain other.s, may 
conceivably twist the views set out. Such complaints have been made mainly 
in the States and particularly with reference to reports on subjccds in which 
the administration was directly concerned. We feel that the utility of Infor- 
mation Directorates would be greatly reduced if such prac.dices are adopted 
or even if suspicion exists, and we would, therefore, commend the procedure 
of supplying, in advance, copies of full reports to editors. 

471. A great deal of the material released to the Press througli these 
Information Directorates has been described as unhelpful and even useless. 
The Information Bureau at the Centre acts as the agency for circulating 
ciuite a lot of material of negligible news value, and in some States also the 
proportion of newsworthy material thus circulated may bo low. Even apart 
from considerations of the expenditure involved in such distribution, we would 
emphasise that the importanc^e attached to a release from the Information 
Directorate depends greatly on its reputation for sending out only worthwhile 
material. 

472. Publicity Offlcer.s and Government advertisenients,~A \'ery unsalis- 
fac-tory feature of the organisation of these Dirertorates is the practice of 
entrusting to them the responsibility for distributing government advertise- 
ments. The volume oI advertising handled by a State Government might not 
be large enough to justify the creation of a separate office for handling it, 
but we consider it undesirable that the Directorate responsible for securing 
publication of official releases should also have the powers of discriminating 
between one paper and another in the matter of advertisements. We would 
recommend that the distribution of advertisements should be taken away 
from the Information Directorates and entrusted to some other Direciorato 
ot the State Governments. 

473 Press photographs. — The Information Bureau at the Centre has also 
a photographic section which distributes photographs to the Press. The 
complaint has been made to us that this is an extension of the States activities 
into a field which should appropriately be left to private enterprise. We 
accept the contention of the Information Bureau that many small papers 
which are now supplied with photographs free of charge by the Bureau would 
not be able to publish them in their papers if they had to pay for them. But 
if, as appears to have been the case, private news photographers are refused 
admission to certain public functions at which the photographers of the 
Bureau are present, it seems inevitable that the suspicion should be arou.sed 
that the Bureau is trying to justify the existence of its photographic section. 
We would, therefore, recommend that consistent with the requirement of 


167 


security and orderliness, there should be freer access to private press photo- 
graphers and that no photographs should be distributed by the Bureau of any 
public function to which private photographers were refused admission. 

474. Pressure on correspondents. — It has been represented to us that in 
addition to releasing material to the Press, the Information Ollicers attempt 
to exert influence through the editors of newspapers in order to ensure that 
reports sent in b.y the newspaper correspondents should be favourable to 
Government. It is no doubt the responsibility of the Information Officer to 
contradict an incorrect report or to provide essential facts if these are missed 
in the report, but any attempt to bring pressure on reporters through the 
editors would undesirable. If a particular correspondent sends in mala fide 
incorrect reports, it is open to the Government to «*ancel his accreditation 
according to the procedure we have already discussed, but to suggest to the 
editor that he should “instruct” the correspondent to use “balanced language”, 
as was reported in one case, is objectionable. 

475 Publicity and ‘‘puffs”. — The complaint has been general that a great 
deal of the material released by these Information Directorates is more in 
the nature of “pulTs” for individual Ministers rather than straightforward 
publicity regarding the activities or achievements of Government. Some years 
back the Prime Minister had occasion to criticise very strongly the attitude 
of correspondents and reporters who attended public functions and then 
reported in the papers not so much the significance of the function or the 
achievement that it was meant to symbolise, but the speeches of the Ministers 
and public men who attended it. If a new power house was opened or a 
railway line brought into service, the newspaper reports dealt almost exclu- 
sively with what was said on the occasion and had little to add about what 
the power house meant to the local people by way of development of large- 
scale or cottage industries, or what the railways could do by facilitating trans- 
portation. Similarly, photographers turned in nicely posed pictures of the 
Minister pressing a button or cutting a piece of tape, but the newspapers 
rarely carried any photographs of the installation or institution that was thus 
inaugurated. While these remarks of the Prime Minister attracted some 
attention in newspaper circles, it would appear that they have not been kept 
in mind by the Information Directorates at the Centre or in the State Govern- 
ments. We have scrutinised collections of photographs released by tne Centre 
and by some State Governments and found that the tendency to ignore the 
fundiamenal achievement and to spoU'ight dignitaries who were present 
is far too prevalent. In the matter of iiress releases also, we found that too 
often the emphasis is on the persons and not on what they have done. The 
result, of course, is that the newspapers which print these releases convey 
little impression of solid aiffiievement. The financially stronger newspapers 
are able to avoid this danger by employing tlieir own reporters, but this 
remedy is beyond the resources of the smaller newspapers and, in their 
interest, we feel that Information Directorates should consciously avoid such 
a stultifying tendency. 

476. Government periodicals.. — In addition to the issue of material for 
publication in the Press, the Central and State Governments are engaged also 
in publishing periodicals of their own. These publications are of different 
types. Some of them are purely technical or specialist, such as, for instance, 
the journals brought out by the Indian Council of Agricultural Research, the 
Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, the Indian Standards Institute 
and All India Radio. Specialist magazines dealing with rural affairs, agricul- 
tural topics or Harijan welfare are also brought out by State Governments. 



168 


Formerly, the Central Government used to publish a periodical called “Indian 
Information’ which served as a vehicle for a considerable amount of material 
normally issued as Press Notes and press releases but publication was dis- 
continued some time back as a measure of economy. Such publications are 
even now being brought out by some State Governments. 

477. The publication of specialist periodicals which serve as ancillaries to 
the functioning of technical departments would be a legitimate complement 
to the working of the.se departments. The justification is not equally apparent 
in the case of the Information magazines, but we see no objection to their 
publication so long as they confine themselves to publicising the activities 
and achievements of government and are not utilised for political propaganda. 
In their case too, as in the case of press releases we would repeat the advice 
that the aim should be to provide factual information regarding achievements 
and objectives and to esc’hew personal publicity for individuals. The Central 
Government publishes, in addition, some periodicals in English and Arabic 
intended primarily for distribution abroad. These journals are intended to 
promote goodwil and friendly relations and, as in the case of such publica- 
tions brought out by foreign countries and distributed in India, we feel that, 
they serve some useful purpose, however limited their achievements might 
be. Justification for three other journals which the Central Government 
publishes in Hindi is not, however, quite so clear. One of them is a serious 
magazine dealing with world affairs. Another is a lighter periodical carrying 
a number of stories, poems and articles on cultural subjects, and thethird 
is a periodical for children. The complaint has been voiced by private pub- 
lishers of similar periodicals that the entry of Government into this field 
results in unfair competition since the Government publications are run 
regardless of their remunerative character, and while they pay very much 
more to their staff and to the contributors, copies are sold at very low prices 
in the market. An attempt was made to explain that the function of these 
magazines was primarily publicity for government, but the instances that were 
quoted to justify that statement were mainly photographs of Ministers, 
generally of the nature that we have already declared unsatisfactory publicity. 

4/8. Foreign government publications. — Foreign agencies operating in this 
country also bring out periodical publications. The Soviet Tass Agency pub- 
lishes in several languages a monthly journal called “Soviet Land”. The 
United States Information Service publishes a fortnightly called the “American 
Reporter which is also published in English and several Indian languages 
Our view is that a.s long as such publications do not attempt to disturb India’s 
friendly relations with other countries or to interfere with domestic issues, 
no harm is likely to follow from their being published in this country. 

47.Q. Press Advisory Committees.— In addition to contact with the Press 
through the medium cf press correspondents and reporters and through their 
Information Directorate. Government have additional machinery for liaison 
with the Press in the Press Advisory Committees and Press Consultative 
Committees in different States. A note on the genesis of these committee.^ 
and their working is included in the Appendix XXXVI. The primary func- 
tion of these committees was to provide an opportunity for government to 
discuss, with representatives of the Press, any action that was contemplated 
to be taken in respect of publications to which government had taken objec- 
tion. There were, however, considerable differences in practice and in certain 
States even the advertising policy of government was discussed in the 
Committees. 



169 


480. Many objections have been raised before us to the existence of such 
machinery. Several units of the Federation of Working Journalists have 
objected to the fact that members of the committees were nominated by the 
President of the All India Newspaper Editors’ Conference and working 
journalists did not get adequate representation. A more serious objection 
was that these committees provided an opportunity for Government to exercise 
pressure on individual members of the Pres.s or on the Press as a whole. 

481. The fact that a number of State Governments have expressed the view 
that the Committees have served a useful purpose while, at. the same time, the 
Press and the journalists have objected to their existence may perhaps be 
taken as lending colour to the suspicion that these Committees have been 
utilised in order to influence the policy of the Press. Even though the All 
India Newspaper Editors’ Conference was responsible for the creation of these 
Advisory Committees, we found that opinion among the representatives who 
appeared before us was not unanimous, and emphasis was laid more on 
subjects like accreditation, which we have discussed earlier, and less on the 
question of advising government about legal action against the Press. 

482. We consider that in a democratic set-up there is no necessity for 
machinery like the Press Advisory Committees for advising Government on 
the administration of Press Laws or for Consultative Committees to regulate 
the relationship between the Press and the Government, Whatever purpose 
these Committees may have served in the past, their continued existence is 
not recommended under the new .set-up. In view of this, we do not propose 
to go in detail into the past working of these Committees. 


X8 M of I&B, 


CHAPTEK XI 
EMPLOYMENT 


483. Working Journalists.— One of the Press. Since 

mission is the condition of journalists we had 

no statistics were available of the tota num ‘ ^ periodicals, 

called for figures from the owners of f | ^ ^as very difficult 

We found, however, that in the case ® ‘ them employed no journalistic 

to collect statistics because a large num er periodical for only 

nation of the statistics in respect of employment in daily newspap 

«4. 0>,. .t a tou,. ot „c„„ « dal., P»P-% 'S 9 %Tpers 
226 furnished us with details of ^heir Journalistic st^ffi Of P ^^,3 

are in Indian languages. 36 in English, and one in Chinese^ £ I not 
have intimated that they do not employ ^^fets whose entire 

surprising, since many of these papers p Jpres in res- 

Srr irpa“ hW study 

rnlde. however, all the important papers and represent over 90 per cent, 
of tlio daily newspaper circulation. 

485 Senior and Junior Journalists.-ln our examination we ^ 

.daiiawa..™.— ^ 

,re “ aa’il^lS" r^nslbim,. and 1. goneraU, »ve„ 

sub-cdilots, special rcpmscntatl.es. “"“P“‘‘2L”lTtaff who 

er-iDhers etv. The second includes those members of the editona start wn 
^ bnvc a certain measure of executive responsibility and also powers 

r ,pcr dsU .me Ot their colleagues. This would normally Include 

iT'Slim” assistant editors, and pews editors, '^e 

Lanaeing editors have not been included because they are both employers 
and employees. The elassiflcation is not based on the salaries drawn y 
employee. 

48C. The total number of persons employed f »>' ‘21; 

ly above 2,000. (To arrive at the total number of ^^unt 

rccular employment depemb ™/“"=;,”»®:':!:;XVwho ™mbS ^tou. 
also those who arc in the service of the news agencies wio 

4 '10) Per.sons who contribute nev/s items and article. . P P 

ani not tvhole-time employees have not been included, li 
in the case of some of them, e..q. correspondents paid on a lineage has , 
the? earnings from journalism may form the bulk of 
having had no means of verifying how many .such cases exist, we have 

had to exclude them from this examination. 

487 The membership of associations of journalists can provide us an 
481. me mcniueibuiv nrofession hut unfortunately the 

estimate of the number engaged in this proiess , , . eri- 

figures are not comparable with one another since they adopt different 


170 



ITl 


teria. Some associations include proprietors and managerial staff; others 
have as members, literary or political men whose connection with journa- 
lism is not very close. There is also a considerable amount of duplication 
when members of one union or association are members of another body 
not affiliated to it. An estimate of the number of journalists would place 
it in the region of 3,000. 

488. In the classification of journalists in one category or the other, we 
have followed generally the terminology used by each newspaper. We 
expect, however, that there are wide variations in the use of the different 
terms. For instance, we found that in many papers sub-editors of sufficient 
seniority are called assistant editors, though in other papers the latter term 
is applied only to leader-writers. Some Hindi papers had a number of 
“editors” who were only leader-writers, working under a person termed 
“chief editor”. Certain anomalies in the statistics must be attributed to the 
lack of uniformity in the use of descriptive terms. Figures for the two 
categories are given side by side in Tables, I, IV and VII, and separately 
in the others. 

489. Number of Journalists per paper.—Thc 189 newspapers in Indian 
languages employed 1,135 working journalists and the 3G English newspapers 
employed 684 journalists, the average number of journalists employed per 
paper being 6 and 19 respectively. The employment position in respect of 
newspapers in individual languages is set out in Table L The figures show 
a high average for the number of journalists employed per paper in Bengali, 
Tamil and Telugu. 

TABLE I 


JOUHNALISTS EMPLOYED IN INDIAN LANGUAGE, AND ENGLISH DAILY NEWSPAPEHS, 
Classified according to language. 


Language 

Number 

of 

newspapers 

Number of 

i 

1 Average number per 
! paper 

Junior 

journalists 

Senior 

journalists 

Junior 

journalists 

! 

i 

I Senior 

1 journalists 

1 

Assamese .... 

I 

2 

I 

2'0 

' 

I • 0 

Bengali .... 

6 

157 

31 

26-2 

5*2 

Gujarati .... 

17 

99 

13 

5*8 

0-8 

Hindi .... 

49 

309 

25 

6-3 

o- 5 

Kannada .... 

13 

51 

F6 

39 

0- 5 

Malayalam 

20 

81 

19 

4*0 

0- 9 

Marathi .... 

20 

III 

7 

5*5 

0'4 

Oriya .... 

3 

14 

5 

4*7 

1*7 

Punjabi .... 

4 

10 


2-5 


Sitidhi .... 

3 

8 


2-7 


Tamil .... 

12 

115 

6 

9*6 

0- 5 

Telugu .... 

4 

59 

I 

14*7 

0*3 

Urdu .... 

37 

119 

21 

3*2 

0*6 

Total 

i89 

L135 

135 

6-0 1 

0-7 

English .... 

36 

684 

67 

190 

I 

1*9 

Total 

*225 

1,819 

202 

8*1 1 

0-9 


♦ Excluding one Chinese language Daily published from Calcutta 




4dO. Monthly emoluments.— The average monthly emoluments (including 
allowances) paid per junior journalist varied considerably, and was generally 
higher in English papers than in Indian language papers. Details are set 
out in Table II. 


TABLE II 

Salaries of junior journalists (Indian language and English Dailies) 


Classified according to emoluments 


Average monthly salary paid by 
the newspaper 

Number of 
newspapers 

Number of 
junior journa lists 
thus employed 

Indian languages 



Below Rs. 50 . 

4 

21 

Rs. 50 to Rs. too . 

71 

211 

Rs. 101 to Rs. 200 . . . • 

95 

593 

Rs. 201 to Rs. 350 ' 

17 

290 

Ovci Rs. 350 

2 

20 

I’OTAL 

189 

1.135 

English 



Rs. 50 to Rs. 100 . 

1 

4 

Rs £01 to Rs. 200 .... 

9 

96 

Rs. 201 to Rs. 350 • 

14 

277 

Rs. 351 to Rs. 500 . 

8 

213 

Rs. 501 to Rs. 750 .... 

2 

62 

Over Rs. 750 

2 

32 

Total 

36 

684 





It will be seen therefrom that the average emoluments of journalists em- 
ployed in newspapers in Indian languages generally fell within the ranges 
Rs. 50—100, 101—200 and 201—350 the overall average being in the 
neighbourhood of Rs. 150. In English, however, we came across only a 
single paper in which the average monthly emoluments paid per journalist 
was below Rs. 100 and the number of those paying less than Rs. 200 on the 
average is also small. In most of the cases, average monthly emoluments 
fell within the range of Rs. 201—500 and the overall average was in the 
neighbourhood of Rs. 350. In the case of 2 editions of an English paper 
the average salary per journalist was as high as between Rs. 500 — 750. 
Another important point that would be noticeable from the figures is that 



it is those papers that paid their journalists better that were also employing 
more journalists on their staff. This is generally true, both of English 
and Indian language newspapers. 

491. Variations between languages. — These figures have been further 
classified for individual Indian languages and are shown in Table III (A and 
B). 


TABLE III-A 

HMOLUAiliNTS OF JUNIOR JOURNALISTS IN INDIAN LANGUAGE DAILY NEWSPAPERS 

Classified according to languages 


(i) Number of newspapers where average emoluments are> 


Language 

Rs. 

Below 

sol 

Rs. 

51-100 

Rs. 

101-200 

Rs. 

201-350 

Rs. 

over 350 

Rs. 

Total 

Assamese .... 



1 



I 

Bengali .... 

i 

I 

2 

2 


6 

Gujarati .... 



13 

3 

1 

17 

Hindi 


17 

29 

2 

1 

49 

Kannada .... 

I 

8 

4 



13 

Malayalam .... 


13 

7 



20 

Marathi .... 


7 

10 

3 


20 

Oriya ..... 


2 

I 



3 

Punjabi .... 


I 

3 



4 

Sindh i .... 


2 


' I 


3 

Tamil ..... 


4 

6 

2 


12 

Tclugu .... 



2 

2 


4 

Urdu 

2 

16 

i 


2 


37 

I’otal . j 

4 

71 

95 

i 

17 

1 1 

2 

189 



(2) Number of junior 

journalists employed in 


newspapers where average monthly emoluments^ are ; 

Language 

Rs. 

Rs. 

Rs. 

Rs. 

Rs. 



Below 

51-100 

10 I -20c 

zJi-350 

over 

Total 


50/- 




350/- 


Assamese .... 



2 



2 

Bengali .... 

18 

18 

40 

81 


157 

Gujarati .... 



66 

32 

I 

99 

Hindi 


52 

200 

38 

19 

309 

Kannada .... 

1 

21 

29 



5 t 

Alalayalam 


45 

36 



81 

Marathi .... 


17 

54 

40 


III 

Oriya 


8 

6 



14 

Punjabi .... 


I 

9 


1 

10 

Sindhi . . . • 


2 


6 


8 

Tamil 


12 

62 

41 


115 

Telugu .... 



20 

39 


59 

Urdu .... 

2 

35 

69 

i 

13 


119 

'Petal 

21 1 

211 

593 

290 

20 

1135 


174 


TABLE Iir-B 


Salaries of senior journalists in Indian languages daily newspa/pers 
Classified accordingly to languages 


Language 

Totol 
No. of 
news- 
papers 

(i) Number of newspapers where average emoluments are 

Rs. 

50-100 

Rs. 

101-200 

Rs. 

201-350 

Rs. 

35i-5<» 

Rs. 

501-750 

Total 

Assamese 

I 


I 




I 

Bengali . 

6 

2 

I 

I 

2 


6 

Gujarati . 

17 

I 

2 

3 

3 


9 

Hindi 

49 

3 

7 

5 



15 

Kannada 

13 

I 

2 

3 



6 

Malayalam 

20 1 

2 

6 

2 


. . 

10 

Marathi 

20 


4 

I 

I 


6 

Oriya 

3 


3 




3 

Punjabi 

4 







Sindhi 

3 







Tamil 

12 

I 

2 

I 


2 

6 

Telugu . 

4 


.. P 


I 


I 

Urdu . 

37 

4 

5 

4 

1 



13 

Total 

J 

189* 

14 

33 

' 20 

7 j 

2 

76* 

i 


♦Out of 189 papers, only 76 employ senior journalists. 


(2) ( Number of senior journal! stsj employed in 
newspapers where average monthly emoluments 
are ; 


Language 

Rs. 

50-100 

Rs. 

101-200 

Rs. 

201-350 

Rs. 

351-500 

Rs. 

501-750 

Total 



Assamese .... 


I 




I 

Bengali .... 

II 

3 

“ 6 

II 


3I 

Gujarati .... 

I 

2 

3 

7 


I3 

Hi ndi .... 

3 

15 

7 



25 

Kannada .... 

I 

2 

3 



6 

Malayalam .... 

4 

II 

4 



I9 

Marathi .... 


5 

I 



5 

Oriya .... 


5 



7 

Punjabi .... 

Sindhi .... 




•• 



Tamil ji .... 

I 

2 

I 


2 

*’ 6 

Telugu .... 




li 


I 

Urdu .... 

6 

10 

5 



21 

Total 

27 

i 56 

1 

30 

1 20 

2 

^ 

135 


It would appear from the above table that the majority of junior 
journalists in Bengali and Telugu newspapers are employed on papers 
where the monthly emoluments fell within the highest range, namely 
Rs. 201-350, (The Sindhi papers have shown no senior journalists in their 
returns and some of the journalists drawing higher salaries may belong to 
this category.) In the case of Gujarati, Marathi and Tamil newspapers 
also, 30 to 40 per cent of the junior journalists work on papers where the 
monthly emoluments fell within this range. On the other hand a very 
large proportion of those employed on Kannada, Malayalam and Oriya 
newspapers serve on papers paying average emoluments in the range 



176 


Rs. 51 - 100 . Further even in the case of individual languages, the number 
of journalists employed per paper tended to increase sharply with the 
rise in the average emoluments paid to journalists by the paper. In other 
words, a paper paying higher average salaries to its journalists than an- 
other paper, also employed more journalists. 


492 . Variations with circulation. — It was apparent from a preliminary exa- 
mination of the figures that thei^e were considerable differences in the emolu- 
ments paid between papers of large and small circulation. Instead of dis- 
missing this as normal, we would like to emphasise that as far as the indi- 
vidual journalist is concerned, his work-load is the same in either case and 
there can be no justification for paying him less solely on grounds of small 
circulation. Details regarding total and average number of junior and 
senior journalists employed per paper in Indian languages and EngliBh are 
shown in Table IV classified according to circulafion of the newspapers. 

TABLE IV 

Number of junior and senior journalists employed in daily Newspapers 
Classified according to circulation 




Circulation 




Up to 
5.000 

5.000 
to 

15.000 

15.000 
to 

35.000 

0 \ cr 
35,0000 

Total 

Newspapers in hidian 
lajiguages 






No. of newspapers 

96 

65 

20 

0 

189 

No. of junior journalists 

325 

433 

187 

190 

1. 135 

No. of senior journalsits 

32 

63 

21 

19 

135 

Average number of junior - 
journalists per paper 

3*4 

6-5 

10*4 

23-8 


Average number of senior 
journalists per paper 

0-3 

10 

1-2 

2.4 


Newspapers m English 






No. of newspapers 

10 

14 , 

5 


36 

No. of junior journalists 

58 

254 

86 

286 ! 

684 

No. of senior journalists 

5 

21 

6 

35 

: ^7 

Average number of ** junior 
journalists per paper ; 

5-8 

i8-i 

17-3 

40*9 


Average number of senior 
journalists per paper 

0*5 

1*5 

1*0 

1 

5*0 

1 

i 


176 


Both in the ca!se of English and Indian language papers, the average 
number of journalists employed per paper increased with the rise in the 
circulation of newspapers. Further, in each circulation group, the English 
newspapers employed on the average nearly twice as many journalists 
as the Indian language papers. 


493. Effect of circulation and language. — Detailed breakdown of the 
figures separately for the Indian language newspapers and for the two cate- 
gories of employees is given in Table V. (A & B). 


TABLE V-A 

Junior Journalists— Indian Language Daily Papers 
Classified according to circulation 



Circulation 

1 


1 

j Up to 

I 5,000 

t 

1 

1 5,000 

i to 

1 15,000 

8 8 

0 c 0 

i Over 

' 35,000 

Total 

No. of newspapers tvhere 
emoluments are 

1 

1 

1 

' 



Below Rs. 50 . . . 

3 

1 

I 


1 

4 

Rs. 50 — 100 .... 

! 55 

15 

i 

I 


71 

Rs. loi — 200 

I 38 

41 

1 

2 

9.5 

Rs. 201 — 350 


7 

' 4 

6 

17 

Over 350 .... 


I 

I 

! 

2 

Toal . . i 

96 

_ 

20 

8 

189 

Number of junior journalists 
employed on papers ivhere i 
emoluments are ; j 

Below Rs. 50 . . 1 

i 

3 

18 



21 

Rs. 50 — 100 .... 

145 

63 

3 

i 

2 II 

Rs. loi — 200 

177 

270 

122 

1 

I 24 

593 

Rs. 201 — 350 


81 

43 

166 

290 

Over Rs. 350 

•• 1 

I 

19 j 

. . 

20 

Total 

325 

433 

GO 

190 } 

I>I 35 


) 

1 

1 1 1 



Note.-— F igures in respect of papers which have not rephrted “ net paid circulation ’’ 
have been mcludcd in circulation “ upto 5,000’*, 


177 


TABI.E V— B 

Senior Journalists in Indian Langaugage Daily NEWsrAPi Rs 
Classified according to circulation 

. . Circulation 



1 

Uplo 

5^000 

i 5,000 

to 

15,000 

: 15,000 

I to 

i 35,000 

1 

j Over 

1 35,000 

'Folal 

'Fotal number of newspapers . 

96 

65 

20 


189 

Mo. of newspapers ?vlierc 
average emolument s are 






Rs. 50 — ^100 

9 

5 



14 

Rs. lOT — 200 


16 

3 

I 

33 

Ks. 201 — 350 

4 

10 

- 

> 

I 

20 

Rs. 351 — 500 


2 

3 


7 

Rs. 50T — 750 . . . : 




2 1 

2 





j 

76 

Mo. of senior journalists 
employed on papers ivJierc 
emoluments arc 

Rs. 50 — roo . . . I 

9 1 

i 

j8 

1 


27 

Rs. loi — 200 • . . 1 

18 1 

i 

28 i 

7 

3 

56 

Rs. 201—350 . . . ! 

4 ! 

1 

7 

6 

30 

Rs. 351 — 600 . . . ; 


4 1 

7 1 

9 ^ 

20 

Rs. 501 — 750 . . . i 

i 

1 


1 

2 ! 

Z 

d’Ol’AL . . 1 

31 i 

i 

93 ! 

21 ' 

i 

20 ; 

135 


— Figures in respect of papers which have not reported “ net paid circujation 
have been included in circulation “ upto 53000”. 

It will be noticed that generally the monthly emoluments of the journa- 
lists employed in the papers with small circulation was low, and as the 
circulation of papers increases, the salary paid to journalists employed there- 
in also increases. In papers where circulation did not exceed 5,000, there 
was practically no paper paying salaries in the highest range, namely, 
Rs. 201-— 350. The proportion of newspapers paying a salary within this 
range, however, increases, generally as the circulation of the papers became 
larger. For the group of papers whose circulation was over 35,000, about 
95 per cent, of the journalists employed therein received salary which fell 
within this range, viz. Rs. 201 — 350. {Vide Table V-A) 

494. In Table VI (A & B) a similar analysis has been made, according 
to circulation, of newspapers in English, the number of journalists employed 
therein, and the salary paid to journalists in each case. 

18 Mofl&B. 


17B 


TABLE VI-^A 

Junior Journalists in English Daily ni wspapirs 

Classified according to circulation 




Circulation 




Upto 

5,000 

j 

5,000 

to 

15,000 

j 15,000 
! to 
35,000 

i 

Over 

j 35:^000 

Total 

A/#. 0/ newspapers where 
average emoluments are : 

i 

1 

1 


1 

i 

i 

1 

1 

Rs. 50- 100 

1 I 




I 

Rs. loi — 200 

i 4 

i 

4 


I 

9 

Rs. 201-^350 

' 3 

6 

2 

3 

14 

Rs. 351 — 500 

2 

4 

I 

1 

8 

Rs. 501 — 750 



I 

I 

2 

OverKs. 750 



I 

1 

2 

Total 

1 

! 

^ i 






1 10 , 

t i 

14 

5 

7 

1 

36 

No. of junior journalists 
employed on papers where 






emoluments are : 






Rs. 50 — 100 





4 

0 

T 

0 

0 

21 

35 


40 

96 

Rs. 201 — 350 

9 

98 

33 

t 37 

277 

Rs. 351 — ^500 

24 

121 i 

26 ; 

42 

2x3 

Rs. 501 — 750 

1 

■■ i 

i 

12 i 

j 

50 

1 

62 

Over Rs. 750 


i 

15 1 

1 

17 

1 

32 

Total . | 

58 : 

254 

1 

86 

i 

286 1 

! 

684 


i 


Noth. — -F igures in respect of papers which have not reported “ net paid circulation’* 
have been included in circulation “ upto 5,000”. 



179 


TABLE VI-B 

Seniok Journalists in English Daily ni-wspait ks 

Classified according to circulation 

Circulation 


'lotal 



Upto 

5,000 

5,000 2 15,000 
to : to 

15,000 ! 35,000 

Over 

35,000 


Total No. of newspapers 

10 

1 i 

14 i 5 ' 

7 

36* 

No. of newspapers where 
average emoluments are— 





Rs. 101 — 200 

2 

I 1 

; 


3 

Rs. 201 — -350 

i ' ’ 1 

2 ' . . 


2 

Rs. 351 — 500 . . • ^ 


4 1 .. : 

I 

5 

Rs. 501 — 750 . . • : 

I 

3 1 1 

1 

6 

Over Rs. 750 . . - ' 

J 

2 , ' 

5 

n 


1 

! 



27 






* Out of 36 paptrs only 27 papers employ senior journislists. 





Upto 

5,000 

i 

5,000 

1 ' 

1 15,000 

1 

; 15,000 
to 

35,000 

Over 

35,000 

^rotal 

No. of senior journalists employed 
on paper. s where cufolurncnth' 
are — 

Rs. loi — 200 

2 

2 

i 

1 


4 

i 

Rs. 201 — 350 - . • ! 

I 

1 

3 

• • i 

i 

! 

3 

Rs. 351—500 


6 j 


8 

14 

Rs. 501 — 750 

2 

^ ^ i 

2 1 

4 

14 

Over Rs. 750 . . . j 

I [ 

4 1 

4 1 

23 1 

32 

Total . j 

5 1 

21 1 

I 

35 i 

67 

i 

j 

1 t 1 


Note. — 'Papers which have not reported **net paid circulation have been included lu 
circulation “ upto 5,000 


180 


The table brings out another special aspect of employment in English 
newspapers. In contrast to the trend noticed in the case of the Indian 
language newspapers, here, even in papers in the lowest circulation group, 
a very high proportion of journalists employed therein are reported as draw- 
ing salary between Rs. 351 and 500* In the next and subsequent circulation 
groups, the proportion of journalists drawing a salary within the above 
range, showed actually a decline rather than an increase, due perhaps to the 
fact that people in the higher salary groups in English newspapers are given 
designations indicating a certain degree of executive responsibility and 
have therefore been excluded from these tables. 

495. Variations with location. — In succeeding tables VII, VIII (A Sc B) 
and IX (A & B) the dilferences in number and salaries of journalists em- 
ployed in daily newspapers have been studied according to the centre from 
which they are published, i.e. the four metropolitian centres, other capitals 
of Part A, B and C States and other towns of more and less than one lakh 
of population. 


TABLE VII 

MoMIU'K Oi' joURNALIST.S rMPI.OVl l) IN INDIAN LANC.UAGr: AND I'NGLI.SII DaTLY 

NnW.SPAPMCS 


Classified according to circulatum 


Place of piiMicution 

Newspapers in Indian 
languages 

: Newspapers in 

English 

No. of 
news- 
papers 

No. of 
junior 
journa- 
1 lists 

No. of 
Senior 
journa- 
lists 

No. of 
news- 
papers 

; No. of 
' junior 
journa- 
lists 

No. of 
■ senior 

1 jouna- 
lisls 

I. Delhi .... 

9 

89 

3 

6 

146 

7 

2. Bombay .... 

17 

no 

9 

5 

138 

12 

3. Madras .... 

9 

1 16 

7 

4 

T 39 

10 

4. Calcutta .... 

iS 

218 

45 

4 

98 

18 


53 

533 

64 

T 9 

521 

: 47 

5. Other capitals of Part “ A 
States .... 

iS 

107 

i 

17 

6 

74 

I 

1 10 

6 . Capitals of Pari “ B ” States 

26 

125 ; 

TT 

2 

18 

1 

1 

7. Capitals of Part “ C ” States 

1 

i ^ 

i 

10 1 



i 


S. Other towns of population 
of 1,00,000 and over 

1 64 

303 ! 

1 

30 j 

4 ! 


4 

9. Other towns of population ■ 
less than T, 00, 000 . . , 

20 

i 

57 

! 

•3 

1 

1 

5 

i 

29 1 

5 

I'O'lAl. . . : 

1 

1 

189 1 

1. 135 j 

j 

L 35 

1 

36 

1 

. 684 j 

67 



181 


it will be seen from table VII that of the working journalists about whom 
figures are available, half of those working in Indian language papers and 
more than three-fourths of those employed in English papers are employed 
by the metropolitan papers. The number of journalists employed per paper 
is very small in the “district papers”, among which must be counted the 
papers published at the capitals of Part “C” States, except of course Delhi. 

496. Similarly, the breakdown, according to salary in relation to place 
of publication. Table VIII (A & B) shows that the higher salaries are paid 
mainly in the four metropolitan centres. 


TABLE VIILA 

JlINIOK JOURNAIJSTS IN INDIAN I-ANGOAGi: l’>An,Y Nl V SI'AFl ICS 
Classified according to location 

I Place of publicat ion 



Delhi 

Bombay 

3 

w 

■■o 

r 3 

Calcutta 

‘ A ’ States 

6 

(/) 

<0 

W 

‘ C ’ States 

1,00,000 & 
over 

OOC‘ 00‘1 1 

1 

JO 

I'otal 

No, of nezospapers where 
average emoluments are — 

Below Rs. 50 . 


I 


I 

I 



I 


4 

Rs. 50 — -100 .... 

I 

4 

2 

4 

5 

13 

6 

24 

12 

71 

Rs. lOT — 200 .... 

3 

4 

4 

11 

12 

13 

2 

38 

8 

9 .S 

Rs. 201 — 350 .... 


7 

3 

2 




i 


‘7 

Over Rs. 350 . 

I 

I 





. . 

. 



2 

Tot AT. 

9 

17 

9 

18 

18 

26 

8 

64 

20 

189 

No. of junior journalists employed 
on papers zuhere emoluments 
are — 

Below Rs. 50 . 

1 

} 

I 


.8 

I 

i 

1 

■■ 

1 

t i 


21 

Rs. 50 TOO . . . • 

i 1 

10 

1 6 

1 

I 

19 

47 

1 1 

8 j 

i 62 i 

33 

2 1 1 

Rs. loi — 200 .... 

18 

20 

44 

! 94 

87 

78 

2 i 

226 

! 24 i 

593 

Rs. 201 — 350 .... 

i 

i 

78 

j ' 

66 

j 

1 

i 

** i 



14 

• • i 

j 

290 

Over Rs. 350 .... 

1 T9 

i T 

! 

1 ’ ’ 

I 

! * * 

1 

1 ’ ' 1 



. • ! 

j 

20 

Total 

89 

no 

iii6 

218 

107 

T25 ' 

! TO 

! 

303 

i 

57 

1 IT 35 

1 


182 


['ABLE Vlll-B 


SiiNioK Journalists in Indian languagk Daily nluspapalks 


Classified according tv location 


m 


I 



I 

£ 

73 

Q 

E 

c 

cn 

Place of 

1 ^ 

3 I 4 

i 

1 03 

CO 1 S 

CO 1 ts 

TJ ; 0 

5 . ! 73 

"•i 

publicalioi 

5 6 

CO 1 to 

a> ! Qj 

^ 1 

CO 

< i M 

1 

r'“ ■ 

7 

1 

1 <u 

i 00 

w 

00 

u 

8 

0 

0 

8 ° 

9 

a 

ca 

CO 

<J-> 

kJ 

10 

T'otal 

'T’otal No. oi' Newspapers . 

No. of newspapers ivhere 
average cniohinients arc — 

9 

17 

9 


t8 

26 

s 

64 

2 

1 

! 

1 189 

Rs. 50 — 100 .... 




4 

3 

2 


2 

3 

14 

Rs. 101 — 200 .... 


2 

2 


5 

6 


11 

4 

33 

Rs. 201 — 350 .... 


2 

2 

1 

4 

I 


7 

I 

20 

Rs. 351 — 500. 



I 

3 


1 


1 


7 

Rs. 501 — 750 .... 


1 

2 

.. 






2 

Over Rs. 750 .... 

No. of senior journalists em- 
ployed on papers zvliere 
emolnmenis aie — 







i 

! . . 

1 

i 

j 


i 


Rs. 50- 100 . 

j 



13 

5 

2 

. . 

2 

5 

27 

Rs. 10 P“ 200 .... 


4 

2 

15 j 

1 

8 

7 

•• 

13 

7 

56 

Rs. 201— 350 .... 

3 

2 

2 

6 

4 

1 


II 

I 

30 

Rs. 3SI — 500 .... 


3 

I 

T1 


I 


4 


20 

Rs. 501 — 750 .... 



2 







2 

Over Rs. 750 . 




1 

• 




Ij, 



'Eotal 

3 

9 

7 ! 


17 

II 


30 j 

1 

13 1 

1 

135 



The smaller capitals and towns have no journalists in the salary (Rs. 201 
250) whereas in the metropolitan centres, this accounts for a substantial 
proportion of the total number of journalists. 


497. Tabic IX (A Si B) of the corresponding figures for English papers, 
shows that the salaries paid to working journalists arc generrdiy higher in 
the case of English papers, in lowns of all sizes. 


'l ABLE IX— A 

Junior Journalists in English papers 
Classified accordim^ to location- 


Place ('f iiublication 


I 1 1 I 

u i O I 


No. of newspapers ivhcrc 
age emoluments are — 

Rs. 50 — 100 

Rs. loi — 200 

Rs. 201 — 350 

Rs. 351—500 

Rs. 501—750 

Over Rs. 750 

TO'lAl 


No. of junior journalists 
employed, on papers zcherc 
emolu meals are — 

Rs. 50 — TOO 

Rs. 101 — 200 

Rs. 201 — 350 

Rs, 351 — 500 

Rs. 501 — 750 

Over Rs. 750 . 

d\)TAL 


I ■ ■ 


4 ; 


U 


DQ 


7 ' ^ I 

S i 

S i O i 

* ^8 g! 

,p.£ 


9 

c 


' i ' ' 

- • I 14 I 40 i 35 ' - 

3 ^ ! ')') j 41 . 39 , 

i ' i ! i 

131 ; s6 ; 26 I . . 1 . . I . . 

. . ; 50 ; . . i . . ■ . • ^ . . 


15 


I 


I 


! 17 


2 I 


1146 I138 1139 I 9 « I 74 I IS* I 


5 

37 


13 


10 

13>tul 


1 
9 

14 

8 

2 
2 


36 


1 42 I 26 


4 

96 

277 

213 

62 

32 

684 


184 


4'ABAL IX B 

Senior Journalists in English papers 
Classified according to location. 

I 

I Place of publication 


|T[2:3,4,5|6|7|8i9 

: I I ! I S’ ! S ! ( 



i 1 

: 1 

1 1 

1 CTJ 

rp :X> 

In § 

jQ Icq 

Madras 

Calcutta 

‘ A ’ States 

‘ B ’ States 

1 

1 

r 

fy 

1 

! '' i 1 

i 1 

|o '-§8 To.al 

! 5 ^ 1 

1 8 M ! 

|m hJ 1 

! 1 1 

Total No. of nczvspapcrs 

! ^ ^1 

6 1 5 ! 

4 

1 

i 4 

! 

1 

1 2 

•• 

! 4 

5 1 3 b 

No. oj newspapers zvherc 

I : 



j 

i 

1 

I 

1 

1 

1 

average emoluments arc — - 

j 


I 

i 

1 

1 

1 

! 

i 

Ks. 101 — 200 



j 

i 

I 

j 

I 

1 T 1 3 


■* " 1 



1 I 


• • 

1 T 


Rs. 201 — .350 

I 1 .. I 



i 1 

1 

! 

I 



! j 








Rs. 351._-.500 

i i 





j 




.. j .. , 


I 

I 

I 

1 * * 

1 1 

1 i 5 

Rs. 501-— 750 . . , 1 

! 

! 1 

••1 3 

I 


I 



1 

. . j 6 

Over Rs, 750 . . ■ 

3 i .1 

i 

i 

2 ; 

2 

I 


1 


I j 11 

No. of senior joimialisis cm- ■ 

1 i 

1 


] 




i 

ployed on papers zvlierc i 

i ; 

1 

1 



i j 


! 

emoluments are — | 

1 ! 

I 

i 





! 

Rs. 101 — 200 . , . 1 

i i 

1 

i 






j 

‘ ■ i • • 1 

" 

, . 1 

2 

' ’ i 

1 

1 

I 

I 4 

Rs. 201 — 350 . . .1 

j 

2 1 

1 

i 


1 




1 

' 

■ . 1 

1 

” 1 

1 

• ■ ! 

• • j 


3 

Rs. 351—500 . .1 

1 

I 

1 

0 ' 

, i 

1 

, i 

1 



1 

. . 1 . 

1 

• 1 

0 i 

2 1 

1 1 

•• i 

I 

2 14 

Rs. 501—750 . . .1 

1 

6 

i 

i 

4 1 

* • i 

2 1 

* • 1 

1 

1 


.. I 14 

Over Rs. 750 i 

5 16 ; 

6 ! 

10 1 

i 

3 i 

^ 1 

1 

,. i 

1 

i 

* * 1 


1 

2 i 32 

1 

'I’OTAI, . i 

! ' 


i 

- 

r 

( 

1 

i 

** 

i 

7 j 12 1 10 : 

iH 

10 i 

1 i 


4 1 

5 d? 


th-m 'n "* salaries paid by a paper in a small town of 

less than one lakh population is because of the Tribune being located in 
Ambala rather than in, say, Jullundur). 


4!)8. Suinmary."- 


-The information may be summarised as follows:- 


1. lotal.---.Ihero are over 2,000 journali.sts employed whole-time in 
dai y ncw.spapers: one-third of them work for English papers 
and two-thnd.s for all Indian language papers put together. 


2. Language.-The average English paper employs more than twice as 
many senior journalists and 3 times as many junior journalists 
as the averafte Indian language paper. Individual employees 
arc also paid much more in English papers than in Indian 
language papers; minimum and average emoluments are both 
higher m the English papers. 


185 



3 Location. The metropolitan papers are providing employment for 
roughly half the number of those working for Indian language 
newspapers and about 80 per cenl. of those working for English 
papers, (or 60 per cent, of all journalists), though the number 
of such metropolitan papers is only 20 per cent, of the total. 
The average metropolitan paper thus employs six times as many 
journalists as the average provincial or district paper. Emolu- 
ments are also higher in metropolitan papers, both in respect 
of minimum and average. 

•1. Size. The average large circulation papers (over 35,000) employ, 
in the case of Indian languages, six times as many journalists 
as the smaller ones, and even in the case of English, five times 
as many as the smaller ones. Emoluments are higher in the 
large papers, both in respect of minimum and average. 

409. Working days per week.— In all, 205 daily newspapers furnished in- 
formation regarding the number of working days per week for the journalists 
(viz., the news editors, sub-editors and full-time home correspondents) em- 
ployed by them. All of them, except four, reported journalists’ working week 
as six working days followed by a paid holiday and a full night’s rest. Three 
Urdu papers reported that their journalists are kept employed all the seven 
days in a week with a full night’s rest, while one Marathi paper prescribed six 
working days and unpaid holiday with full night rest. Two of the three 
Urdu papers referred to above were of small circulation and one of medium 
circulation. Two were located at Calcutta and one at Delhi. 

500 Working hours per day.— On the whole 207 daily newspapers supplied 
particulars regarding hours of work of their journalists in day shift. Of 
these, 174 were in Indian languages, 32 in English and one in Chinese. 
About 43 per cent, of the reporting newspapers stated that the journalists 
employed therein worked between 7 and 8 hours a day, 41 per cent, staled 
that the journalists worked between 6 and 7 hours a day, 12 per cent re- 
ported the number of working hours to be between 5 and 6 hours a day 
and 4 per cent reported not more than 5 hours a day. The over-all average 
for journalists in all newspapers would thus appear to be in the neighbour- 
hood of 7 hours per day. 


501. Variations with language. — The position of reporting newspapers in 
individual languages is given in Table X below. 



I 


I 




18 M. of I. & B. 


TABLE X 



Language 




Number 

of 

reporting 

newspapers 

Not more 
than 6 
hours 

Between 

6 and 7 
hours 

Between 

7 and 8 
hours 

Bengali 

• 


• 

• 


6 


5 

I 

Gujarati 

• 





14 

. . 

7 

7 

Hindi • 

• 





45 

10 

20 

15 

Kannada . 






10 

3 

2 

5 

Malayalam . 






18 

I 

3 

14 

Marathi 

• 





19 

2 

9 

8 

Oriya 






I 

I 

. , 

• • 

Punjabi 






3 

I 

. , 

2 

Sindhi 






3 

. . 

I 

2 

Tamil 






12 

3 

3 

6 

Telugu 






4 

I 

. t 

3 

Urdu 






39 

10 

14 

15 

English] 






32 

4 

17 

II 

Chinese 






I 

•• 


I 

National (All India) 


• 



207 

36 j 

1 

81 

90 


It will be seen from the above table that the number of working hours of 
journalists in majority of the newspapers was between 6 and 7 in Bengali, 
Marathi and English and between 7 and 8 hours in Gujarati, Kannada, Mala- 
yalam, Punjabi, Sindhi, Tamil and Telugu. In Hindi, 24 per cent of the news- 
papers kept their journalists employed not more than 6 hours per day, 43 
per cent between 6 and 7 hours and 33 per cent between 7 and 8 hours. 
The corresponding percentages for Urdu papers were 21, 38 and 41 res- 
pectively. 


502 . Variations with circulation. — ^Table XI will show similar distribution 
of the reporting newspapers in English and Indian languages, according to 
size of circulation and working hours of journalists employed: — 

TABLE XI 


Circulation 

Language 

Number of 
reporting 
newspapers 

Number of papers where 
working hours of journalists are : 

Not more 
than 6 
hours 

Between 

6 and 7 
hours 

Between 

7 and 8 
hours 





No. 

No. 

Up to 5,000. . 

Indian lang. . 

90 

20 

25 

45 


English 

9 

I 

4 

4 

5,000 to 15,000 

Indian lang. . 

59 

II 

28 

20 


English 

14 

3 

8 

3 

15,000 to 35,000 

Indian lang- - 

17 

I 

6 

10 


English 

3 


2 

I 

Over 35,000 

Indian lang. . 

8 


5 

3 


English 

6 


5 

3 


It will be seen from the above table that only in the case of some low cir- 
culation papers the working period of the journalists was reported as less 
than six hours a day. Within each circulation group, such papers were pro- 
portionately fewer among the English papers than among Indian language 
papers. On the other hand a smaller proportion of English newspapers kept 
their journalists engaged more than seven hours a day as compared with 
the Indian language papers. 


i88 


5(1,5. Variation.s with location. — Table XII give.s an indication of the dis- 
tribution of English and Indian language papers at dillerent places accord- 
ding to working hours of journalists employed: — 


TABLE XII 


Place of publication 

Language. 

i 

j 

i 

1 Number 

i ef 

j reporting 
: newspapers 

1 

Delhi 

Indian lang. . 
English 

sc 

Bombay . 

Indian lang. . 
English 


Madras 

Indian lang. . 
English 

I ^ 

i 4 

Calcutta . 

Indian lang. . 
English 

i 

1 3 

Other Capitals of Part 
‘ A ' States. ! 

! 

Indian lang. . 
English 

' 

Capitals of Part ‘ B ’ j 
States. i 

Indian lang. . ! 
English . ! 

26 ) 

2 1 

Capitals of Part ‘ C ’ | 

States. 1 

1 

Indian lang. . 1 
1 English , ! 

1 

i 

i 

Other towns of popu- 1 
lation x^oo.ooo and 
over. ; 

Indian lang. . 1 
English . ! 

i 

6. 1 

3 1 

1 

Other towns of popu- I 
lation less than ' 

1,00,000. 

Indian lang. . 1 
English . ' 

( 

20 1 

4 1 




Number of papers where 
working hours of journalists are — 


not more 
than 6 
hours 

1 not more 
, than 7 
i hours 

i 

i 

not more 
than 8 
hours 

I 

3 

5 

. . 

I 

4 

3 

10 



3 

2 

. . 

3 

5 


I 

3 

3 

9 

3 


3 


■> 

II 

3 

1 

3 

•• 

5 I 

8 

J3 

I ! 

1 

I 


I 

1 

i 

I 

3 

1 

1 

16 1 

1 6 

29 


O 

1 

2 

3 i 

15 

! 

3 ! 

I 


j 04. The figures suggest that it wa.s mainly at Delhi and Madras that a 
large majority of newspapers, both in English and in Indian languages 
reported working their journalists more than 7 hours a day. The majority 
Of Indian newspapers published from the capitals of Part ‘C’ States and 
small towns with population less than 1,00,000 also kept their journalists 
engaged beyond 7 hours a day. In contrast, it will be noticeable that not 
‘Tc. .! , aT®''". newspaper published from Calcutta and the capitals 

of Pait A and Part ‘B’ States worked its journalists more than 7 hours a day. 



CHAPTER XU 

WORKING JOURNALISTS 
Section I — General 

505. “Workinff J«urnalist”._CIause (iv) of our terms of reference reauires 

tion"rHi^"‘'’ of recruitment, training, scales of remiLera- 

o employment of workT^ 

jomnah.st.„ and settlement of disputes affecting them. For this nurnose R 

mt^aiU what is exactly 

n.pt ine'.'ti aiiv tM ix V ^ journalist. A working journalist cloarlv (loos 
our, “-1,0 .r; ,: . „ “ “ “"»“•»» "i<l> tl.e production of a 

il woiko,.",,, a iitspapTS?' “ “ 

;;; pS,;^,ro,i“,,~r f -sr 

' ...«r;™;n?r,;'‘iSs,T^^^^ , -“nr 

nns"“orkr'*a"‘-' sms 

reportens, correspondents etf ’ sub-editors, 

those whose professed alocikm anH“if We consider that only 

.journalism should be regarded as wnH • means of livelihood is 

included tide words h, XS avo,^r '"^ deliberately 

wlicrc peraona W.inmi™ ” p^ronT ^ 
education, have devoted nu-t ,,f ‘>uch as law, medicine, 

writing articles for new.sprpers ^t may be Ih^'t tn and 

particularly during the 1* yea”rof thef " ease of some of them, 
arising from the eontributions to the newspape^-V'mnTT^ rarcer, income 
income from the practice of their nwn ‘P^P®'^’ "’ay be more than the 
'hat account, be c^irrect to eSVThmn """ 

as their profe.ssed avocation is other than iournlhJm 

administrative staff, staff engaged in printing anH managerial sialf, 

cesses, sales agents and advertising agents ofn ‘■’nmposing and allied pro- 
and only the stalT employed in the auditorial a”nd 'his category, 

mg cartoonists and news photographers could sections, inciud- 

as working journalists. Moffusil^ corresnond f I’cgardcd 
lineage basis and free-lance journalists id'’ "" '■» ‘ctamer or 

or opipiop i„ .UP 

working i„„r„,,i.„3, Pcool.reglcr, an ^rof =f wSking 


189 



190 


for Here 

In several newspaper offices t ^ inv^te'id of to the editorial side. 

the managerial wing of the ^ . readers employed in connection 

The question therefore is -Aether the proof-^ato^^ emp^loy ^ 

wooing" joui'nahsts° The”term 

~ rs:s 

ieS or hae .0 have a knowledge „I ^He oaper" ThafC 

rase a proof-reader should be regarded as a working 

upon the duties assigned to him and the purpose for which he has been em- 
ployed If a person has been employed as a proof-reader only for t 
purpose of making him a more emcient sub-editor, then it is obvious that 
even while he is as a proof reader, he should be regarded a. a working 
journalist In all other instances, he would not be counted as a lournatet 
but as a member of the press stall coming within the purview of th* 

Factories Act. 


507. Classification of employees— We realise that the distinction between 
the managerial and the editorial staff becomes somewhat obscure in smaller 
newspapers where both editorial and managerial functions are 
to life same person. In such cases, we th.nk Ih.st he shoe d be ent.tled to 
be regarded as a working journalist. A person who would othei wise be a 
working journalist in the sense we have described above, should howeve^ 
be excluded from that category if his office involves responsibilities which 
are usually attributable to a proprietor. Where, however, the editorial side 
is controlled by the proprietor himself and there is no other employee under 
him, then he should be regarded as a working journalist in spite of his pro- 
prietorial interest. 


508. There is a bewildering variety of designations employed in connection 
with stafT doing different kinds of work in the newspaper office. On the 
managerial side, there are persons who are in over-all charge known as 
managing director, general manager, managing editor; on the editorial side, 
we have the editor, editor-in-charge, joint editor, associate editor, assistant 
editor, news editor, chief sub-editor, night editor, literary editor, sports 
editor! commercial editor, sub-editor, foreign correspondent, special corres- 
pondent, reporters, revisers, cartoonists; on the business side, manager, 
advertisement manager, circulation manager, accountant, superintendents, 
clerks and despatchers; and on the works side, works manager, works super- 
intendent, press superintendent, foreman, proof-reader, katib, sangsaz etc. 
Some kind of standardization of designations based on duties and respon- 
sibilities would be very necessary, if scales of pay have to be prescribed for 
each category. We do not in this report propose to go into the details of 
pay scales, as the Commission is neither a labour Commission nor a court of 
industrial arbitration. The proper scales of pay for each category of em- 
ployees must depend upon various circumstances, such as cost of living in 




a 


f 



191 


different parts of the country, the duties and responsibilities of each category 
of employees, the capacity of the various units of the industry to bear the 
financial burden, etc. All these will require a detailed and to some extent 
local investigation, and according to the proposals we are making later in 
this chapter for the application of the Industrial Disputes Act to working 
journalists, these points will have to be gone into, if and when necessity 
arises, according to the machinery set up under that Act or any other 
legislation that may take its place. The point that we are emphasising hire 
is that there is necessity for some kind of standardization based on the duties 
and responsibilities of each category of employees. This classification would 
have meaning only in respect of bigger papers because in smaller papers, 
the duties appertaining to employees of different classes mentioned above 
may be combined in one and the same person. 

509. By and large it may be said that tlie status and role of working 
journalists have undergone change in many directions. In former years most 
of the Indian Press, had only one objective in view and tliat was the 
political emancipation of the country. Most of the journalisls of that era were 
ac'tuated by fervent patriotism, a feeling that they had a mi.ssion to perform 
and a message to convey. They were prepared to undergo sacrifices for the 
cause. These sacrifices entailed loss of personal liberty in some cases* and 
financial loss in the case of a very large number. Political independence 
having been achieved, the emphasis has shifted. Newspapers are no longer 
run as a mission but have become mainly commercial ventures. The ex- 
pansion of the newspapers as business units in many cases under the control 
of non-journalists, has tended to accentuate the situation. The journalists 
have, to some extent, ceased to assert their individuality and the high prin- 
ciples which should govern their conduct have been subordinated to the 
exigencies of the situation. The accent on the commercial aspect of news- 
papers has tended to attract to the profession persons who may not have 
the same intellectual equipment and the moral stature as journalists of 
former days. We have come across instances of journalists, who have served 
even as editors on papers of different political persuasions, regardless of 
what their own personal convictions might be, provided only that proprietors 
were prepared to pay an attractive remuneration for their services. We 
have also come across journalists who have acted with considerable sense 
of irresponsibility. News has been reported without the correspondent 
taking the slightest trouble to verify its correctness. One paper published 
news from its Delhi correspondent that Mr. Chester Bowles attended a secret 
conference of high ranking Indian military officers in the Cinema Hall of 
the Stadium Cinema and that Mr. Bowles gave advice on the modernisation 
of the Indian Army--when the fact was that Mr. Bowles and others attend- 
ed a cinema show where secret matters of high military policy could not 
possibly have been discussed. There have been journalists serving on res- 
ponsible papers who have knowingly published incorrect reports. Although 
the incorrectness was brought to their notice, they published it because they 
considered that the report was too sensational to be omitted. Other journa- 
lists have tended to submerge their individuality and have been content to 
play second fiddle to the proprietors and the managers. There have been 
others who have had no compunction in publishing obscene and frivolous 
matter because it pays to cater to the low taste among the people and thus 
makes popular in one case a journal, which admittedly contains 40 per cent, 
of vulgar matter, so long as they keep themselves within the law Some 
other journalists admitted before us that some of their contributions were 


192 


in bad taste and they said that they were sorry they had given publicity to 
such matter. We have been told of reporters who have sometimes asked 
questions at Press Conferences at the instance of foreign Embassies. All this 
seems to indicate that moral and intellectual leadership which used to be 
associated with journalists of former days, is not being maintained at the 
.same level particularly after the attainment of independence. This has been 
partly due to the fact that owing to the rapid expansion of the newspapers, 
wherever such expansion has taken place, the cal lin e of persons attracted 
to this profession has not been of the same high standard as in the past 
although there is growing social awareness among them. We have been told 
that in one case a typist of 3 years standing was accredited as special corres- 
pondent of a well-established newspaper. In other cases persons who had 
nothing to do with journalism in the past have become' correspondents of 
newspapers merely because it enables them to obtain admission to the 
Press Gallery of Parliament. The aim and outlook C 3 f the employe^es them- 
sedves lias undergone a radical change. Consequently the status (jf journalists 
and the esteem in which they used to be held has not l)een maintained 
at the same level which it had attained during pre-independence days. 


510. The deterioration in the status and role of journalists may have been 
partly due to certain lowering in the standards of their working conditions. 
The war years had brought about considerable prosperity in the fortunes 
of the newspaper industry. There were also large-scale demands from Gov- 
ernment publicity organisations and the Defence Services for qualified 
journalists. As a consequence, there was some improvement in the working 
conditions of journalists. But after the war these conditions have not 
continued. We have heard of numerous instances where increments have 
not been paid, where the dearness allowance has not been snfTicient to 
neutralise the rise in the cost of living, and where, owing to the insufficient 
number of employees, the workload has increased. It is true that the salary 
scales offered in 1952 have been higher than those offered in 1939, But 
the real wages of the working journalists have actually gone down as the 
rise in the wages has not been commensurate with the rise in the cost of 
living. To some extent this has been attributed to the tendency of large 
concerns, who instead of ploughing back profits in the existing units in 
the industry, and utilising them to improve the conditions of journalists, have 
c iverted the profits for the purpose of starting new units at different centres 
These ventures at best made no profits and some times were highly .specula- 
^ individual cases there has been improvement in the 

conditions of service particularly in the matter of emoluments. But quite 
often this improvement is noticeable only in the higher and more senior 
posts, and has only served to emphasise the disparity in the maximum and 

the minimum salaries. An analysis of the emoluments of working journalists 
has been given in Chapter XL Jt>uinansis 


511, But the most widespread complaint that we have received is in the 

^ ^ boffi among tie 

^ 1 perhaps feel that they have sold Lay 

T appointments, and among the lower 

rungs of the ladder, where recruitment has been haphazard Numerous 
instances have been brought to our notice where the services of th^ em 
Ployees have been terminated either with no notice or ,Sth fnndeau^e 

battTe’he^" fvf organisation of employees, it is an unequil 

battle between the proprietora n„ the one hand and ibe wmki„g“ „rS"S 


have 1)6611 told at one centre that owing to the present 
t ojment if one journalist is dismissed, 10 others are waiting 

hniHirx, fv, editor explained the point by saying that the few 

oldmg the jobs had no additional qualifications beyond those possessed by 
’^^dreds who were unemployed. At another centre, we were told 
that the journalists were unwilling to form themselves into unions and 

"^""ditions of their service because they were 
atraid that such a demand would afford a pretext to the proprietors of the 
papers to dispense with their services. This state of affairs must inevitably 
oad to demoralisation and lowering of the professional standards among 
the working journalists. 


r ♦ essential to realise in this connection that the work of a journa- 

ls eman s a high degree of general education and some kind of specialised 
raining. iMewspapers are a vital instrument for the education of the ma.sses 
«nd It IS their busine.ss to protect the rights of the people, to reflect and guide 
public opinion and to criticise the wrong done by any individual or organiza- 

crTc’v Thr" es,sential adjunct to demo- 

cracy. The profession must, therefore, be manned by men of high intdlec- 

and the n,^h qualities. The journalists are in a sense creative artists 

iTd 1 canne V wrongly, expect from them a general omniscience 

wTr'k beTer^‘ conditions 'under whifh ti^ 

to work t are peculiar to this profession. Journalists have 

mornine ugh pressure and as mo.st of the papers come out in the 

clock T 1 1 Vd'ir/rT in the night and round the 

UiTt brent n T ^ particular time and ail the news 

that breaks before that hour has got to find its place in that edition 

Journalism thus becomes a highly specialised job and to handle it adequately 

arrive quickly at the correct conclusion, and have the capacity to stand 
the tress and strain of the work involved. His work cannot be measured 
is ar 'iidustnes. by the quantity of the output, for the quality of work 

insecuTiZ ar^ nieasuring the capacity of the journalists. Moreover 

hat ^ peculiar feature of this profession. Thi.s is not to s-jy 

that no insecunty exists in other professions but circumstances mararil^ n 
onnection with profession of journalism which may lead to unemplLment in 
profession, which would not necessarily have that result in other profes- 

r,f the nan ^e havc come acro.ss cases where a change in the ownership 
of the paper or a change in the editorial policy of the paper harresultefl 
in considerable^ change of the editorial staff. In the case of other indusiries 
the normauy entail a change in the 

but fn ^ . T f ^ newspaper is not only to ive news 

in fh opinion, a change in the proprietorship or 

in the editorial policy of the paper may result and in some cases has resulted 
in a wholesale change of the staff on the editorial side. These circumstances 

scheme for improvement Of the conditions Of working journalists. ‘ 


SECTION II— RECRUITMENT AND TRAINING 

513. Recruitment-We have been unable to find evidence of any well- 
defined system of recruitment to the editorial staff of the newspapers In 
IS M. of I. & B. 


most cases the recruitment is made in haphazard fashion. Very often, even 
the departmental heads are not consulted in making appointments. Save 
in the case of a few well-established papers, no regular register is kept of 
the applicants for posts nor is there a Selection Committee appointed for 
selecting candidates. The appointments are often made on considerations 
other than merit. We have heard frequent complaints of appointments being 
made either because the person appointed happens to be a relative or a 
friend of the proprietor or of the heads of different sections in a newspaper 
office, or because of political considerations or even because the appointing 
authority thinks that making a certain appointments might result in an 
indirect benefit to the paper. We have heard of a case where the son and 
the son-in-law of a joint editor were said to have been appointed not strictly 
on consideration of merit. In another case the proprietor’s younger brother 
was appointed as editor of the paper though he actually did not edit the 
paper and was merely a student still in college; even so he drew the salary 
as an editor. On another paper, which is a proprietorial concern, a very 
large number of the members of the staff belong to the family of the pro- 
prietors. In the case of another paper several relatives of the pro- 
prietor, including even ladies, are borne on the staff of the paper and receive 
their emoluments as such. At another place the appointments were often 
made not only on the basis of family relationship but also on parochial 
and regional considerations. In proprietorial concerns, the tendency to 
appoint reJatives of the proprietor to responsible posts on the managerial 
side even though they may not have proper qualifications, is understand- 
able though not defensible. But where such appointments are made 
also to posts on the editorial side, particularly noticeable where the 
proprietor is also the editor, the practice is reprehensible as it is bound 
to lead to a lowering in the standards of journalism. Even in non-proprie- 
torial concerns the tendency is noticeable to appoint relatives of the manag- 
ing editor to posts on the editorial and on the administrative side. We have 
also come across instances where appointments have been made of persons 
who were related to the political personalities of the land. We have alsa 
been told of a case where the appointments have been made on the recom- 
mendations of a person holding an important position in a political organi- 
sation of the State. It is true that in some cases the persons appointed have 
justified the choice by the manner in which they have made a success of the 
assignments given to them. But there can be no gainsaying that the original 
appointments were actuated by considerations other than those of merit. 


514. All this, in our opinion, indicates that certain improvement is imme- 
diately called for in the manner in which recruitment is made. It is difficult 
to prescribe a system of recruitment which will be applicable both to large 
and small papers or will be equally suitable for papers in different languages 
or for application in all regions. But we think that whenever vacancies 
arise, they should be advertised and selection should be made on the recom- 
mendation of the editor assisted by a small Selection Committee. A proper 
register should be kept of all the applicants and of the candidates who have 
passed the selection test and appointments should be made in the order of 
priority as determined by the Selection Committee. This would, to a large 
extent, minimise the undesirable influences which might otherwise make 
themselves felt in making recruitment to the newspaper offices. These 
observations are applicable mainly to large establishments where the annuaf 
turnover of staff is appreciable and not to small district newspapers having- 
only a few members on the staff. 



195 


515. It has to be recognised that the proprietorship of a newspaper is 
not on a par with ownership of factories in as much as journalism is a matter 
intimately affecting the public, and the formation and expression of opinion 
^ ave vital public and social repercussions. So long as the proprietory form 

of ownership exists, the appointment will Slave to be sanctioned by the pro- 
prietor. But m practice, the conduct of the newspaper on its editorial 
side should be left to the editor. We think it would be of the utmost import- 
^ ance to emphasise that having selected the editor, the proprietor should 
give him the fullest autonomy to select candidates for appointments on the 
editorial side. It is also very necessary for the success of a newspaper that 
here should be a spirit of solidarity, camaraderie and harmony arnone the 
editorial staff. There should be a team spirit and this can be secured' only 
if the editor has, working under him, persons who enjoy his confidence and 
who in turn have faith in his leadership and guidance. Moreover the techni- 
cal requirements of men working on the editorial side would be better known 
and appreciated by the editor rather than by the proprietor where he him- 
self is not a journalist. For these reasons, we think, that the proprietor 
should invariably make appointments and issue letters of appointment only 
on tlhe recommendation of his editor — assisted, wherever possible, by a Com- 
mittee or a Staff Council. In those rare cases where the proprietor is unable 
to accept the recommendation of the editor the rnattcM* would probably be 
seUled by a personal discussion between the proprietor and the editor. We 
think it would be most undesirable that the proprietor should make appoint- 
ments on the editorial side witfeout the concurrence of the editor. 

^ 516. The same principle should apply to appointments made on the 

managerial side. 

517. The senior members of the staff should, as far as possible, be appoint- 
ed from the existing members of the staff in consultation with the heads of 
the managerial and the editorial sections as the case may be. We realise 
there can be no generalisation in this respect as there may be persons of 
outstanding merit who may be selected for direct appointment to senior 
posts. But even in making such appointments it is very necessary that the 
claims of the junior members of the staff should not be ignored, ‘as such a 
procedure is likely to lead to dissatisfaction and demoralisation among the 
members of the staff. e t ^ 


518. Education and training.-In this country there is plenty of hutran 
material available to supply the needs of the journalistic profession but it 
educated and trained along proper lines before it can be 
profession. We have been somewhat pained to 
nd that the educational standard and the intellectual equipment of some 
of the journalists who have entered the profession have been wocfullv un- 
satisfactory. One distinguished journalist told us that although they ‘'were 
trying to employ only first-class graduates, it had been a difficult matter to 
maintain high standards because the reporters, sub-editors, etc were of a 
lower calibre. He attributed this to the fact that the standards of Univer- 
sities had gone down. A Professor of Journalism in one of the Indian 
Universities also found that the intermediate students who took up the course 
in journalism for their University degree were not sufficiently equipped in 
general knowledge. As an instance he mentioned the case of a Xdent 
of his who said that ‘Ananda Bazar Patrika^ was published in Kannada and 
was edited by Raja Ram Mohun Roy. In reporting that the swollen waters 
of the Chenab had washed away to Pakistan the sleepers stacked on its 


196 


bank, 20 miles from Jammu, a sub-editor of a Malayalam paper rendered 
the story by saying that two lakhs of persons had been carried away by 
the rising waters wh^ they were asleep on the banks of the Chenab. 

The editor had to explain to his readers the next day that wooden sleepers 
and not slumbering men had been washed away to Pakistan and apologised 
by saying that he himself was asleep when the mistake occurred. This lack 
of general knowledge has been to some extent due to lop-sided specialisation 
which has been brought about in our University curricula. A Professor of O 
Economics w^ho also looks after the Department of Journalism in a Univer- 
sity has told us that the pass students were on the whole more suitable 
because their knowledge was broad-based and their capacity to express them- 
selves in English was better. The Honours graduates did not have the same 
general knowledge because of their specialised education. The Secretary 
to the Standing Committee for Journalism of another University was of the 
opinion that on the whole the persons admitted to the journalism course 
in the University were satisfactory but he added that they held an oral 
test to find out the aptitude of the candidate to take up the course. 


519. It seems to us that general improvement can be brought about only 
if higher educational standards are maintained in schools and colleges both 
in Indian languages and in English. The students should receive some pre- 
liminary training in (i) methods of journalism, (ii) general knowledge and 
world alVairs, and (iii) writing in the particular language either English or 
the Indian language, before they could be regarded as qualified to enter any 
of tne schools of journalism for a degree or a diploma course. It should be 
possible for our school and University authorities to have a course in world 
affairs, essay-writing and precis-writing not merely as a special qualification 
for those who want to enter journalism but as an intergral part of a sound 
and liberal education. 


520. Qualification for a journalistic career,— It will obviously be imros- 
sible to pre.scnhe standards of qualifications for different branches of the 
profession. But as we are suggesting elsewhere a provision being made 
for a minimum wage, it is obvious that in order to be entitled to that mini- 
mum wage the entrants to journalism should have some minimum qualifica- 
tions also. This is a matter in which the assistance of a Press Council and 
an Institute of Journalists would be very valuable. We would consider 
a Degree with a good grounding in humanities as a satisfactory minimum, 
qualification necessary need not, however, be confined to an academic 
egiee but should take into account also the psychological equipment of the 
candidate his general aptitude for practising the profession of journalism 
his fiair for writing and nose for news. Many graduates from the Univer-’ 
sities may be found wanting in this respect. We thus think that the re- 
orientation of higher education is as essential in respect of journalism as in 
he case of other professions. It is too early at present to insist that the new 
entrants to journalism should be persons who have obtained a journalistic 
qualification either by way of a degree or a diploma. We are examining 
-^1 education which is imparted in our University courses 

“ journalism. We do not think that the Sng 
able IS in all respects satisfactory and we think it would not be desir- 
this stage that only those who hold a diploma or a degree in 
journalism shoald be permitted to enter the profession. But other things 

being equa persons having a journalistic qualification should have preferen- 
tial claim m the matter of employment. preieren 



197 


521. It is hardly necessary to emphasise that the correspondents on the 
staff of newspapers should not only be proficient in the regional languages 
but also in the language of the paper on which they serve and in the language 
in which the news is transmitted by teleprinter or telegraphy. Without this 

^ necessary equipment a correspondent would be greatly handicapped in his 
work. 

522. University courses in joumalism.—That brings us to the question 
^ of University courses in journalism. There is unanimity of opinion that a 

systematic and institutional education in journalism is necessary and that 
this education should be of a comprehensive character. It should cover all 
aspects of journalistic work from news-reporting and news editing to photo- 
graphy, short story writing, editorial writing, administration, newspaper 
management and production etc. In America a graduate in journalism is 
considered as equivalent to a journalist with two years experience in the 
profession, for evaluating comparative merits of candidates for employment. 

523. Mysore University.— So far as we are aware there exist schools of 
journalism in the Universities of Punjab, Calcutta, Nagpur, Madras and 
Mysore and there are proposals for starting schools of journalism in three or 
four other Universities in India. (Gujarat, Agra, Osmania and Gauhati). 
Of these the Mysore University Course, and the University Certificate and 
the College Certificate courses in the Nagpur University give under-graduate 
training in journalism, whereas other Universities and one course in the 
Nagpur University give post-graduate training for diploma courses. The 

^ Mysore University course gives instructions in journalism as part of the B.A. 
degree course of the University. It trains students in history of journalism, 
journalistic practice and newspaper administration. The head of the Depimt- 
^ ment of Journalism in the Mysore University told us that they employed 
no trained lecturers or professors. During the last year, 24 students joined 
the course electing journalism as one of their subjects and of these only 7 
passed out. He said that the students took journalism as a part of their 
degree course because they thought it was an easy subject, and while he had 
started with 24 students, half of them had given up the course after a 
month or so, because they found that it was not as easy as they had imagin- 
ed. This University has prescribed the course on journalism as part of a 
liberal education and does not aim at turning out students qualified straight 
away to take up journalism as a profession. 

524. Madras University Course.— All the other Universities have provided 
very comprehensive curricula and little fault can be found with regard to 
^ the subjects in which education is imparted. But while Calcutta University 
has got a two years course, the Nagpur, Punjab and Madras Universities 
have provided for a course extending over one year only. It seems to us 
^ that it would be practically impossible for the students to have a proper 
understanding of the various subjects on which education is imparted within 
the brief period of one year. The Madras University has not got either a 
Department or a Professor of journalism; the Professor of Economics looks 
after the administrative side of the School of Journalism. The teaching is 
done in two groups, general subjects and technical subjects. The general 
subjects are taught by professors borrowed from different colleges while 
technical subjects are taught by journalists on the staff of the local papers. 
Each of the lecturers delivers 10 lectures. There are 110 lectures on lechnical 
subjects and 114 on general subjects, including Press laws. This course has 
been in existence since 1947 and they have been admitting about 12 students 
a year. About 50 students have gone through this course during these 5 


or 6 years but not all of them have taken the diploma because one of the 
subjects in which the students have to pass is shorthand and typewriting, 
and 90 per cent, of the students failed to qualify in these two subjects. But 
having passed in the remaining groups of technical and general subjects, 
they were able to obtain employment without formally possessing a diploma 
of the University. Dr. Balkrishna frankly conceded that the course was a 
very big one and the teaching was essentially superficial. The teachers 
could only give general guidance but were not able to impart detailed 
instructions. Local newspapers have co-operated with the University in 
trying to give the students practical training. But once the students were 
sent to the newspaper offices for practical training the University did not 
keep a watch and find out what training was actually given in those offices. 
Fifteen students are selected every year by the Syndicate after an interview 
and the list of selected students is passed on to the various newspapers 
offices and the newspaper has to decide which particular candidates it 
would take up for practical training. In effect, therefore, unless a student 
w'as accepted by one newspaper or another for training, he could not be 
admitted to the course. The students complained that unless one has influ- 
ence with a paper, he could not hope to join the course. One newspaper 
would select for training only such number of students as could be absorbed 
on the paper itself. 

525. Nagpur University Course. — In the Nagpur University the post- 
graduate diploma course is of a comprehensive nature but the course 
is limited to one year. The University conducts this course at the Hislop 
Coliege, Nagpur. The Professor in charge holds office for one year as Ful- 
bright Scholar. The tenure of the Assistant Professor is sponsored by the 
World Literacy Organisation. We were informed that out of 30 students 
who were admitted to the course, about one-third were well-grounded in 
English, another one- third were of medium qualifications who could be 
brought up to the mark with a little coaching while the remaining third 
were not in a position to benefit by the course. The course has been in 
existence only for one year and out of 40 students who had appeared for 
the Diploma course, 25 had passed and of these 15 had found employment 
in newspapers or in radio stations. Tlie Professor in charge admitted that 
in some cases American ideas of promotion of business were imparted to 
the students, and that some of these ideas may not suit Indian conditions. 
He also conceded that the text books used and the views expressed therein 
were essentially American and suited to American conditions although the 
lectures delivered in the' University attempted to correct this particular 
drawback. 

526. The Punjab University Course. — The Punjab University has also 
a very comprehensive curriculum for the diploma course and here again the 
difficulty lies in trying to compress too many things within a short space 
of time. The University tries to select students for admission to the course 
in journalism after a test of their aptitude for journalistic work. 

527. Calcutta University Course. — The Calcutta University is the only 
University whose post-graduate course for diploma in journalism extends 
over a period of two years. There is a Standing Committee for Journalism 
formed by the Syndicate of the University which looks after the Department 
of Journalism. There are six part-time professors and lecturers and most 
of them are veteran journalists. The course was started in 1950. It admit- 
ted 60 students in the first year. Of these only 50 students continued in the 
second year when a new batch of 60 students was admitted for the first 


year. As in the case of Madras University no watch is kept on the practical 
training given to the students in the newspaper offices. The University 
merely accepts a certificate given by the editor. The ’first batch of 24 diploma 
holdtu's passed out in 1953 and half of tliem have found suitable jobs. Before 
admitting the students to the diploma course, there is an oral test for apprais- 
ing the aptitude of the candidate. The University writes to different news- 
papers and they offer to take a certain number of students for practical 
training. The number of students admitted every year is dependent upon 
the possibility of giving them practical training. Here again the position 
is the same as in the Madras University. 

528. Our recommendation. — On the whole it seems to us that the list 
of subjects laid down for study in most of the Universities is generally satis- 
factory but the time allotted for the study of these subjects is quite insuffi- 
cient. We think that the diploma or the degree course should preferably 
be a post-graduate course. The experience at the Mysore University, where 
a provision is made for the study of journalism as part of the degree course 
in Arts is not encouraging. There is no objection to such a course being 
maintained as a part of the liberal University education. But such a course 
would be altogether inadequate for those who want to take up journalism 
as a career. If it is a post-graduate course, then it may be of a two years 
duration. But the modern tendency of the University education is to start 
specialisation after reaching tlie intermediate standard. If this is extended 
to a specialised degree or a diploma in journalism then the course should 
be of 3 and not 2 years. Of these 3 years the first year should be devoted 
to the study of general subjects such as History, Sociology, Economics and 
Politics. The actual instruction in journalism should be given in the second 
and third years. The curriculum should also include a study of the manage- 
ment of the newspapers and the technique of their production including 
instruction in printing and typography, press photography, radio journalism 
etc. It is understood that the Universities will shortly be required to pre- 
scribe one year’s general training as a part of the intermediate course or 
as a preliminary to admission to the degree course in Arts and Science. 
Until such a preliminary course is initiated it may be necessary to have a 
year’s course in general subjects referred to above followed by a test to 
ascertain the special aptitude of the students for journalism before per- 
mitting the students to proceed to specialised study of journalism in the 
second and third years. 

529. Although this theoretical training would be good, as far as it goes, it 
needs to be supplemented by practical training in journalistic work in the 
newspaper offices. A class room schedule does not give the real feel of the 
hurry and the bustle, the strain and the pressure of a typical newspape r office. 
This experience is an essential part of the training of a journalist. It would 
be desirable for the University authorities to have periodical reports of the 
practical work done by the students in newspaper offices. Normally, the staff 
of a newspaper have little or no time to train an apprentice and consequently 
the training imparted may not be of the kind which is essential for an intend- 
ing journalist. It would, therefore, be desirable for the Universities to start 
a campus paper as is done in the American Universities, and to run the paper 
for such periods of the year as may be found practicable. Alternatively some 
satisfactory arrangements should be made with other newspapers in the 
locality ensuring that the students derive a real benefit. As the future lies 
with Indian language journalism, a practical difficulty is created by the 
different regional languages of India. A Malayali student could not possibly 
get practical training at Nagpur, Bombay or Calcutta as there are no 


900 


Malayalam newspapers there. Organisations of newspapermen should advise 
the Press Council on the possibility of setting up an Institute of Journalism 
which can keep a watch on the methods of training in the Univer.sities and 
also conduct refresher courses. Such an Institute should carry out research: 
into the problems of the profession and, if necessary, conduct institutions of 
its own for training in journalism. 

530. We think there are reasonable prospects for those who obtain degrees 
or diplomas in journalism to obtain employment in different walks of life. 
Apart from their finding positions in the newspaper industry itself, there are 
po.ssibilities of their obtaining employment as Information Officers in Govern- 
ment service, in the News Division of All India Radio and as Information 
and Publicity Officers in Industry and Commerce. There are numerous com- 
mercial concern.s who run trade journals, specialised periodicals and house 
organs and, for the production of these, training obtained in University 
courses in journalism would be quite useful. The news agencies also afford 
an avenue of employment for graduates in journalism. Allowing for normal 
wastage in the newspaper industry, for reasonable expansion of the industry 
following in the wake of growing literacy and for the possibility of graduates 
m journalism being fixed up in other walks of life, we estimate that the 
output of such trained graduates should normally not exceed about 300 a year 
during the coiu-se of next 10 years if we are to avoid the risk of unemployment 
and the consequent hardship to these graduates. 


SECTION III 

Apprenticeship and Maintenance of Efficiency 

nractic employees. We consider the 

practice is wrong in principle and it is on the whole undesirable to recru-'t 

th^ *‘®®®°"able chance of their being absorbed on 

It should ' ^ specified period of satisfactory training 

It shc^ Id be an easy matter to estimate the probable requirement of a naner 
for filling vacancies on the regular staff every year- the mrmhL „r \ 
recruited should not normally exceed the number of vacancies that are^likely 
to occur by more than one or two. In this way there would be a ceUa n 
t, among the apprentices to make good, in order to Je” 

m«it to P°"^s oa the paper. It would also enable the manag- 

rt fd^ffi am recruited as aporentict. 

It IS difficult to dogmatize as to what the period of training should be This 

of t'l “PP" training and the journali.stic background 

of t.ie apprentice concerned. A person who has already obtained a degree or 
a ciip oma in journalism and has acquired both practical and theoretical 
knowledge of newspaper work will require a shorter period of apprsnticeship- 
than one who is not so qualified. In no case should the period iff apprentice^ 
ship exceed two years nor should free service be taken from these apprentices 
who .°^ economy for the paper. We think that those apprentices 

who have a diploma or a degree in journalism should be paid two-third of 

shLkTretTrifTrh'''-^’'^ sub-editor and those who are not so qualified- 
ipreitSshii salary of a sub-editor, during the period of 


I 

I# 


201 


# 

Ik 


•• 


InstHut. nf T are already engaged in journalism. The 

Institute of Journalists, as soon as such a body comes into being, would be 

mLrtrthf courses. Some attempt has been 

made m this direction by the Southern India Journalists Federation. In 
ten years it has conducted special 3-day seminars for correspondents from 
Jhe ‘ lectures have been delivered by the senior members of 

dents correspori- 

tull T'’ these seminars have been appreciated by 

them and one or two newspaper managements have made a contribution to 
toe cost of organising these seminars. A similar attempt wa.s made by the 
Marathi Patrikar Parishad. It is Jiardly necessary for us to emphasise the 
importance of having such refresher courses 


V .1 travel. — In order that the working journalists may be 

able to perform their duties efficiently, they must have first-hand knowledge 
of conditions as they prevail in diiferent parts of India and we think it is 
desirable that toe newspapers should, by turn give facilities to the members 
of their stair to pay visits to diiferent parts of the country and to obtain first- 
hand knowledge of the degree of development, the progress made, and the 
trends of public opinion prevailing in those regions. Wherever practicable the 
bigger papers should send members of their staff to foreign countries also 
for training or at least encourage them to go at their own expen,se by provid- 
ing them necessary facilities such as leave, lien on their Indian posts, etc. 
If possible there should be a constant exchange between the members of the 
staff serving in India and those serving as foreign correspondents in different 
countries as such exchange will be beneficial to both categories of employees. 


SECTION IV 

CONDITIONS OF SERVICE 

5,S4. There should be a letter of appointment or a contract. Minimun# 
notice periods recommended.— As a general rule the employees in the 
newspaper offices are not given any contract of employment and in a large 
majority of cases there is not even a letter of appointment. Generally the 
journalists prefer a letter of appointment to a contract of service; a contract 
usually stipulates a definite period of appointment, and this rai.ses an^ 
apprehension in the mind of the employee that at the conclusion of the 
period, his services would be automatically terminated if the contract is 
not renewed, and that ho would have to look for employment elsewhere 
Some witnesses have preferred a contract covering a period of years, be- 
cause this gives them a feeling of security at least for that period. But 
even such contracts provide for the termination of the employment before 
the expiry of its tenure by giving notice of a specified period and thus 
even the mention of a period of years in the contract of service i.s not by 
itself an adequate safeguard against toe termination of the employee’s 
services before the expiry of the period of contract. We think it advisable 
toact employee should receive either a letter of appointment or a con- 
he de the employee may prefer. A standard form of contract should 
be devised by the organisations of employers and employees. We .suggest 

Appenmx No. XXXVII). It should also contain a clause stinulatimr thif 
which should bo bpsed on the length ol the service ren™.“d "aieTlure 



fof the appointment. There can be no hard and fast rule as to what the 
notice period should be. The practice upheld by law or by collective 
bargaining varies from country to country. In England the practice estab- 
lished by some judicial decisions is that the editor is entitled to a year’s 
notice and an Assistant Editor to six month’s notice. In a recent Bombay 
case (Suit No. 735 of 1951 in the City Civil Court) the Judge held that in 
the circumstances of the particular case the plaintiiT, an Assistant Editor, 
was entitled to a notice of four months although in normal times, he said, 
the rule adopted in England of six months should be the correct rule to 
adopt in India. We suggest the following minimum periods of notice for 
the termination of services: 


1 

Editors 

Joint Editors 

Asstt. Editors 

Leader Writers^ 

News Editor and 

Chief Sub-Editor 

Other Working 
Journalists. 

Service j 

Notice^ 

Service 

Notice 

Service 

Notice 

1 

Less than 3 
years. 

♦3 months 

Less than 3 1 

years. 

♦2 months 

Less than 2 
years. 

*i month. 

Over 3 years 

6 months 

3 to 5 years 

*3 months 

2 to 5 years 

*“2 months 



Over 5 years 

’“4 months 

5 to 10 years - 

*3 months 





Over 10 years | 

♦4 months. 


(* Unless his service in any other capacity in the same paper entitles 
him to a longer notice.) 

We have suggested a longer period of notice for editors because it is 
•comparatively much more difficult to secure another assignment for a 
journalist of that seniority and standing in the profession. The draft form 
of contract or the letter of appointment should mention the age of super- 
annuation when the working journalists would be bound to retire. 

535. How and what punishments may be imposed. — The authority 
competent to impose punishment should normally be the authority em- 
powered to make appointments, acting on the advice of the editor on the 
editorial side and of the manager on the managerial side. But before any 
punishment is imposed, the rules of natural justice require that the em- 
ployee concerned should be given a charge-sheet and afforded a reasonable 
opportunity to defend himself. The punishment which may be imposed upon 
the employee of a newspaper for proved inefficiency or gross negligence should 
.be of the following types arranged in the ascending order of gavity: — 

(1) warning, 

(2) censure, 

(3) withholding of increment, 

(4) withholding of promotion, 

<5) forced leave. 


(6) suspension, and 

(7) termination of services. 

The more severe punishment should not be resorted to unless the milder 
form of punishment appears to be inadequate. It has not always been 
possible for us to verify the truth of the various complaints made of im- 
proper or excessive punishments, because very often the complaints came 
to our notice after the proprietor concerned had been examined. In any 
case, we could only examine a limited number of proprietors and the 
complaints were made in respect of many other newspapers also. In several 
instances allegations were made that the services of the employees were 
terminated with or without cause assigned and sometimes without notice. 
It was impossible for us to examine the truth of the allegation in every 
case. But we are satisfied that in many of the cases services have been 
dispensed with with or without sufficient cause and sometimes with in- 
adequate or no notice. It would not be appropriate for us in this report to go 
into the details of individual cases in support of the statement we have made 

536. Allegations have also been made that a change in the proprietorship 
of a newspaper has led to the termination of employment of many members 
of the staff. To a certain extent a change in the proprietorship would 
make it inevitable that there would be changes at least amongst the holders 
of the senior posts on the editorial staff. The new proprietor would not 
necessarily be of the same view^s as his predecessor and would naturally 
want the paper to be run according to his own views and ideas. If those 
views happen to be radically different from those of his predecessor, the 
editor whose views coincided with the views of the predecessor would not 
be able to run the paper according to the views of the successor if he has 
to be true to his conscience. But certain cases have been brought to our 
notice where a change in the proprietorship and administration has led to 
a change not only in the editorship but also in the junior members of the 
editorial staff. When a certain paper changed hands and was taken over 
by management, having a different political complexion, several members 
of the editorial staff were replaced by members of that political persuasion. 
When the editor of a Delhi Hindi paper left, two other persons appointed 
by him had also to leave. Similar changes are said to have taken place 
when a Marathi journal of Poona changed hands in 1938, 1939 and in 1950. 

SECTION V 

MINIMUM WAGE AND DEARNESS ALLOWANCE 

537. Unsatisfactory emoluraents.— We have had overwhelming evidence 
before us that save in the case of some of the bigger papers, the emoluments 
received by the working journalists are on the whole unsatisfactory. An 
analysis of the position is given in chapter XI. The starting salary is 
low. There are no regular scales of pay providing for annual or periodical 
increments. Even where such scales of pay do exist, they are not declared 
to the employees as such declaration carries with it an implication that the 
increments would normally be given as promised. There have been cases 
where increments have been given to a chosen few and not to others. 
There are no regular grades making a provision for promotion from one 
grade to another. Numerous instances have been brought to our notice 
where the salaries have not been paid regularly at the beginning of every 


904 


month. Sometimes salaries have remained in arrears for three or four 
months at a time. There have been many complaints about a journalist- 
having to do a variety of jobs owing to the fact that a sufficient number 
of working journalists have not been employed. For instance, we have been 
told that sub-editors had also in many cases to work as reporters and I 

even as proof-readers. In other cases they were asked to contribute features 
or to cover sports items in addition to doing their own duties without 
getting any additional remuneration for such extra work. Some cases ^ 

have been brought to our notice where a member of the staff had to 
perform the duties of a higher post but continued to receive the salary 
of the lower post. For instance, we were told that in some papers the edi- 
torials were regularly written not by the editor or the assistant editor but 
by the sub-editor. Very many cases have been cited to us in which it 
has been alleged that even where time scales of pay exist increments have 
been improperly withheld and sometimes granted as a matter of favour. 

We have not been able to examine each individual case where such alle- 
gations have been made. But many of the allegations were put to the 
proprietors or representatives of various papers when they came to give 
their evidence. Although the allegations may not have been justified in 
all cases, we think there is ground for believing that there has been arbi- 
trary exercise of power by the proprietor in this matter. 

538. Scales to be settled by collective bargaining or adjudication. — It 

has not been possible for us to examine in detail the adequacy of the scales 
of pay and the emoluments received by the working journalist having 
regard to the cost of living in the various centres where these papers are 
published and to the capacity of the paper to make adequate payment. 

Such an examination would have entailed an elaborate inquiry. As we c 

have pointed out earlier, this Commission could not undertake a detailed 
investigation into the working conditions, having regard to the time at its 
disposal and the variety of other matters included in our terms of refer- 
ence to which also attention had to be paid. In this connection it may be 
stated that the Federation of Working Journalists also agreed, when it 
was put to them, that apart from suggesting a minimum wage it would 
not be possible for the Commission to undertake standardisation of designa- 
tions or to fix scales of pay or other conditions of service for the different 
categories of employees for different papers in different regions. They 
have stated that these details must be left to be settled by collective bar- 
gaining or where an agreement is not possible the dispute could be settled 
by reference to an industrial court or an adjudicator with the assistance 
of a Wage Board, if necessary. The All-India Newspaper Editors Con- 
ference and Indian Language Newspapers Association have also stated 
that it would not be possible to standardise designations and that any 
uniformity of salaries as between one newspaper and another would be * 

impossible. The resources of different newspapers vary and the conditions 
of service are not the same. We agree in principle that there should be 
uniformity as far as possible, in the conditions of service in respect of 
working journalists serving in the same area or locality. But this can be 
achieved only by a settlement or an adjudication to which the employers 
and the employees collectively are parties. 

539. We have also received complaints that in many cases the dearness 
allowance is not paid although there has been a considerable rise in the 
cost of living. It has also been stated that where dearness allowance is 



ao5 


paid it is entirely inadequate and not sufficient to neutralise the rise in the 
cost of living. It has been the contention of many witnesses who appeared 
before us that, as a result of this the real wages of the employees have 
^ gone down. This, again, is a matter which would require very detailed 

study of tne rise in the index numbers of the cost of living for various 
places where the newspapers are published. We do not know of any case 
where a uniform rate has been prescribed for dearness allowance appli- 
cable all over the country irrespective of the economic conditions at 
different centres and the paying capacity of the various units. This must 
be a matter for mutual adjustment between the employers and the em- 
ployees and if there is no agreement, some machinery must be provided 
by which disputes between the parties could be resolved. We have given 
indication later in this section as to what in our opinion should constitute 
minimum emoluments at the present day cost of living. With regard to 
the standardisation of designations and the fixation of scales of pav for 
different categories of employees, we must leave the matter for mutual 
negotiation between the employers and thc^ employees, and provide for a 
suitable machinery for settlement of disputes by mutual agreement or if 
that cannot be* brought about, by adjudication. 

r)40. Minimum wage.— But it has been urged before us that we should 
give some indication of our opinion as to what would constitute a minimum 
wage for an employee in this profession. Here again the problem is beset 
with the same difliculty which we have mentioned in connection with the 
^ fixation of the scales of pay. All that wc can do is to express our view 

as to what we consider sTlould be the minimum wage of a journalist any- 
^ where in India. A journalist occupies responsible position in life and has 

powers which he can wield for good or evil. It is he who reflects and 
moulds public opinion. He has to possess a certain amount of intellectual 
equipment and should have attained a certain educational standard without 
which it would be impossible for him to perform his duties efficiently. His 
wage and his conditions of service should therefore l>e such as to attract 
talent. He has to keep himself abreast of the developments in different 
fields of human activity — even in such technical subjects as law, and medi- 
cine. This must involve constant study, contact with personalities and a 
general acquaintance with worlds problems. Further, as has been pointed 
out by the Delhi Uhion of Journalists, “the field in which a working journa- 
list has to move has now’ increased tremendously both in ramification and 
requirement. In a place like Delhi where he has, of necessity, to meet 
^ several people holding high official positions, he has to dress himself better 

than an average middle-class man”. It is, therefore, essential that there 
should be a certain minimum wage paid to a journalist. It is not unlikely 
that the fixation of such a minimum wage may make it impossible for 
^ smaller papers to continue to exist as such. But we think that if a news- 

paper cannot afford to pay the minimum wage to the employee which will 
enable him to live decently and with dignity, that newspaper has no business 
to exist. We put it to the various organisations of working journalists that 
the fixation of a minimum may mean closing down a certain number of 
papers with the result that there may be an increased unemployment. They 
were prepared to contemplate such a prospect with equanimity. But we feel 
^confident no such consequences would follow — at least not on a very large 
scale — and even if they did the journalists would rather face the problem 
'Of unemployment than work under conditions which are unsatisfactory and 
humiliating. 


We, therefore, proceed to consider what in pur opinion, the minimum: 
wage should be. 

541. Application of Minimum Wages Act not recommended. — A suggestion 
has been made to us that the minimum wages for working journalists may- 
be fixed under the Minimum Wages Act, 1948. At present that Act applies 
to employees in industries specified in the Schedule. But the appropriate 
Government has power, under Section 27 of the Act, to add other kinds of 
employment and if a notice to that effect is issued in the official gazette, 
the Schedule in its application to that particular State is to be deemed 
to be amended accordingly. Although under Section 3 of the Act, the appro- 
priate Government is required to fix the minimum rates of wages in the 
case of employment specified in the Schedule, there is a proviso that the 
Government shall not be required to fix such minimum rates in respect of 
any scheduled employment in which there are in the whole Province less 
than one thousand employees engaged in such employihent. (This would 
apply to working journalists since their number does not exceed 1,000 in 
any State of India.) In fixing the minimum wage discretion is left for fixing 
different minima for — 

(i) different kinds of scheduled emplo^mient; 

(ii) different classes of work in the same scheduled employment; 

(iii) adults, adolescents, children and apprentices; and 

(iv) different localities. 

The Act prescribes the procedure for the fixation of minimum wages and 
for revision thereof and under Section 12 of the Act an obligation is cast upon 
the employer to pay every employee engaged in a scheduled employment, 
wages at a rate not less than the minimum rate of wages fixed by the appro- 
priate Government. Under Section 22 of the Act any employer who pays to 
any employee less than the minimum rates of wages fixed for that class of 
employees or less than the amount due to him under the provisions of the 
Act, or infringes any order or rules thereunder, is punishable with imprison- 
ment of either description for a term which may extend to six months or 
with fine which may extend to Rs. 500 or with both. Under Section 25 of 
the Act, any contract or agreement whether made before or after the com- 
mencement of the Act, whereby an employee either relinquishes or reduces 
his right to a minimum rate of wages shall be null and void in so far as 
it purports to reduce the minimum rates fixed under the Act. Finally, - 
Section 26 of the Act gives power to the appropriate Government to direct 
that the Act shall not apply to all or any class of employees employed in 
any scheduled employment or to any locality wliere there is carried on a 
scheduled employment. We have been informed that the Minimum Wages 
Act was intended to apply to what are called sweated industries or to indus- 
tries wherein labour is not properly organised, although the Act has now 
been extended to dock labour in the Port Trusts. Working journalists could 
not be regarded as coming within the category of sweated labour and with, 
the formation of trade unions and associations all over India and with the 
coming into being of Federations of Journalists, it can hardly be said that 
the working journalists are not properly organised. It seems to us, there- 
fore, that it would be inappropriate to extend the provisions of the Minimum 
Wages Act to working journalists. The expert advice that we have received, 
also favours the same view. The Minister of Labour in Bombay told us- 
that the wages under the Minimum Wages Act are usually fixed in those 
industries where there is exploitation and also where the workers are not 



sufficiently organised to resist sudh exploitation. He was of the view that 
the Minimum Wages Act has, in pracace, proved somewhat ineffective. It 
was difficult to get any employee to come and give evidence that the mini- 
mum wages had not been paid. The Act has been extended to workers 
in building construction, but it has been found impossible to appoint suffi- 
cient number of inspectors to detect offences. He thought that the fixation 
of minimum wages might be possible with regard to press workers but not 
with regard to the editorial staff. The Chief Labour Commissioner and the 
Union Minister of Labour were also of the view that working journalists 
should not be brought within^ the purview of the Minimum Wages Act. 
We agree with this view and are of the opinion that as the working journa- 
lists are now properly organised, it would not be desirable to bring them 
within the purview of the Minimum Wages Act by adding working journa- 
lists to the categories of employees enumerated in the Schedule to that Act. 

542. Classification of areas. — In order to express any view as to what 
would constitute a reasonable minimum wage for working journalists all 
over India, it is obvious that we have to take into account the differential 
cost of living in different parts of India. The cost of living varies in different 
areas but it would be possible to suggest a uniform basic wage which would 
be applicable all over India and to supplement that wage by local allowance 
which would reflect the difference in the cost of living. But for this purpose, 
it is necessary to make a rough division of the areas of publication of news- 
papers into two or three categories. The latest scientific study in respect 
of lower middle classes with regard to conditions all over India is to be 
found in the Award given by the All-India Industrial Tribunal (Bank Dis- 
putes) in March 1953. The only suitable basis for such a division of loca- 
lities was on the basis of the population as stated in paragraphs 73 and 74 
of the Award. We ourselves have not had the time or the opportunity 
to study this matter in great detail. But we are satisfied that the classifica 

tion adopted by the Bank Tribunal is, on the v/hole, fair. According to 

the Bank Award all places in India are classified into 3 areas: 

Class III area consisting of all places with a population of less than 
one lakh according to the Census Report of 1951; 

Class ir area consisting of all places with a population of more than 

one lakh according to the Census of 1951 except the cities 

included in Class I area; 

Class I area consisting of cities of Ahmedabad, Bombay, Calcutta, 
Delhi and Madras. 

We think, however, that the gap between Class II and I areas is much too 
large. There would be some towns where the cost of living may not be as 
high as Class I cities but would be distinctly higher than any town of, 
say, two lakhs of population. Moreover throughout this Report we have 
treated the cities of Bombay, Calcutta, Delhi and Madras as metropolitan 
centres having a special importance of their own from the point of view of 
journalism and we think that that distinction should be maintained in the 
fixation of minimum wages also. We would, therefore, slightly modify the 
classification adopted by the Bank Award in the following manner so far 
as journalists are concerned: — 

Class III area consisting of all places with a population of less than 
one lakh according to Census Report of 1951; 

Clas^ II area consisting of all places with a population of more than- 
one lakh but less than 7 lakhs; 


208 


Class IB area consisting of towns with a population of over 7 lakhs 
other than the towns falling in Class lA area. This would 
include cities of Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Hyderabad and Kanpur; 

Class I A area consisting of metropolitan cities of Bombay, Calcutta, 

Delhi and Madras. 

543. Concept of minimum wage. — Having accepted this general classifica- ^ 

tion we have next to proceed to determine what should be the reasonable ' 

minimum wage in respect of each area. The expressions ‘a living wage’, 

‘a fair wage’ and ‘ a minimum wage’ have got different connotations. The 
fair Wages Committee’s Kepoft summarises the main principles in the follow- 
ing words: — 

“While the lower limit of the fair wage must obviously be the minimum 
wage, the upper limit is equally set by w^hat may broadly be called the 
capacity of the industry to pay. This will depend not only on the present 
economic position of the industry but on its future prospects. Between 
these two limits the actual wage will depend on a consideration of the 
following factors: — 

(i) the productivity of labour; 

(ii) the prevailing rates of wages in the same or similar occupations 

in the same or neighbouring localities; 

the level of national income and its distribution; and 
(iv) the place of the industry in the economy of the country.” f, f 

The Committee has laid dowm certain broad prinicples for the determination 
of fair wages. They stated in Chapter II of their Report: “Any attempt to 
evolve jnhnciples for governing the fixation of wages must be made against the 
background of the general economic conditions of the country and the level 
of the national income should not be used as an argument against the pres- 
cription, by law, of minimum standards below which, on social grounds, no 
one should be allow’^ed to fall. But in adopting measures for the betterment 
of industrial workers, tlie interest of the community as a whole should 

not be overlooked The present level of our national income does not 

permit the payment of a ‘living wage’ on standards prevalent in more 
advanced countries. But this should not preclude the fixation of fair wages 
on different and lower standards. At almost any level of the national income 
there should be a certain level of minimum wages which society can afford. 

What it cannot afford are minimum wages fixed at the level which would 
reduce employment itself and thereby diminish the national income.” In * 

a later part of the same Report the Committee observes: “The living wage 
should enable the male earner to provide for himself and his family not 
merely the bare essentials of food, clothing and shelter but a measure of 
frugal comfort including education for the children, protection against ill- 
health, requirements of essential social needs, and a measure of insurance 
against the more important misfortunes including old age.” The Bank 
Award having considered these points proceeded to state as follows: — 

“Though the living wage is the target, it has to be tempered, even 
in advanced countries, by other considerations, particularly the 
general level of 'wages in other industries and the capacity of 

the industry to pay In India, however, the level of the 

national income is so low at present that it is generally accepted 
that the country cannot afford to prescribe a minimum wage 



200 


c'orrospondin^ to the concept of a living wage. However, a 
minimum wage even here must provide not merely for the 
bare subsistence of living but for the efficiency of the worker. 
For this purpose, it must also provide for some measure of 
^ education, medical lequirements and amenities. In fact, we are 

; in agreement with the principles laid down but the difficulty 

lies in the application of the pi-inciples in particular cases." 

f 

n44. Position under the Bank Award and in some other ciuplo.vniciits. 

In Ihe case of bank employees, the Tribunal divided the banks into 4 (‘lasses 
and according to the Awhrd which they gave the minimum emoluments of 
an employee in Class ‘D' bank in area No. Ill was Rs. ol pa,\’ and Hs. 25 

as th(' dearness allowance, total Rs. 7 f). In area No. II. it was Rs. 54 plus 

Rs. 30 , total Rs. 04 and in area No. 1 it was Rs. 57 plus Rs, 35 , plus Ks. 8 

house rent, total Rs. 100 . We think that the working journalists: should 

not be equated in point of intellectual equipment and educational attain- 
ments to a person who (mtei’s th(‘ service (,)f bank. His position is more 
** analogous to a lecturer in a college. We were informed that in such private 
concerns as the Imperial Bank and Burmah-Shell. tlie l)asic wage tor a 
graduate was Rs. 120 plus Rs. 50 as dearness allowance. The minimum wage 
for a secondary school teacher is said to be Rs. 90 . The position of some 
categories of employees in Delhi is as stated m the table beiowv — 


Allowances for iMiiiiil Initial total 

salary emoluments 



D.A. 

ll.R.A. 

C.C.A 


Go'ii. of hulia Sccrcturiai Scales, 

Rs. 

Rs. 

Rs. 

Rs. 

Assistant Rs. ] 6 o — lo — 300 — HB 15 — 450 

oo 


10 

245 

SiciK'graphcrs Rs. .160- — 10 — 330 

DO 

15 

10 

245 

U. D. C. Rs. So— 5— U20—-S— 200—10,2 
— 220. 

SO 

J 5 


1 s 2 

,/)< //// Govt- Ron s 





Assistant Rs. 1 co 330 

60 

15 

10 

245 

Stenographers Rs. r6o 330 

{ 0 

j 5 

10 

*-4 5 

IJ. D. C- Rs. SO 220 

50 

^ 5 

7 

^52 

Delhi IGihershy Lecturers Rs* 2 CO 15 
—290-20—410 25 500 

60 

— 


260 


545. The Government of India have the same rates of Dearru'ss Allow- 
ance all over India. House Rent Allowance is highest at Calcutta and 
Bombay. The employees in Madras, Delhi, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad, Nagpur, 
Lucknowg Kanpur, Bangalore and Poona get House Rent Allowance at lesser 
rates than the employees at Calcutta and Bombay. The employees in other 
cities which practically cover all tlie towns of population over one lakh 
get House Rent Allowance at lower rates than the towms mentioned above, 

38 M. of I. & B. 


210 


while the employee in the towns not mentioned in the Schedule do not get 
any House Rent Allowance, Similarly the City Compensatory Allowance is 
granted at higher rates to employees in Bombay and Calcutta than to those 
in Madras, Delhi, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad, Nagpur, Lucknow, Kanpur, Ban- 
galore and Poona. The employees in other cities do not get any City Com- 
pensatory Allowance. The figures given in the above table refer to the 
allowances granted in Delhi. 

54t). Minimum Wage recommended. — We are of tlie view that tlu* basic 
minimuTTi wage all over India for a working journaiist should be Rs. 125 
with Rs. 25 as dearness allowance making a total of Rs. 150. For those 
.stationed in Class II areas ii.e. (owns with a population of over one lakh* 
the emoluments should be* Rs. 125 basic wage plus Rs. 50 as high cost of 
living and dearness allowance making a total of Rs. 175. In addition, those 
serving in Class IB towns should get a city allowaiice of Rs. 25 p.m. and 
those in the metropolitan cities of Bombay, Caleutia, Madras and Delhi 
should get Rs. 50 as city allowanc(‘. We sug,g(:‘St these emoluments at the 
present level of ail India co.st of living index for working class which stands 
at 146 for 1953 (1944 — 100). The resulting position is set out in the table 
below: — 


Dearness 
Basie or High 
wage Cost of 
Living 
.Allowance 


City 

or 

.Metropo- 

litan 

Allowance 


Total 


Class ni 

Population le^-'-s than t>ne iaki’. 

Class n 

Population over one iakii hin less llian 7 
lakhs. 

Class / H 

City Areas having a population v>f over 
7 lakhs which should indiidc the towns 
of Ahmedabad, I’angalore, Hvvlerabad 
and Kanpur. 

Class I A 

Metropolitan areas Bcmibay. ( ialcutta, 
Delhi and Madras. 


Rs. Rs. Rs. Rs. 

125 25 ^ ISO 

125 SJ .. I-^ 

t-' 5v cs 200 

t-5 50 50 225 


We further suggest that if thore is a substantial increase in Uie cost of living 
computed not on working class budgets but on lower middle class budgets, 
dearness allow'ancc should be increased to the appropriate extent. 

547. We have not been able to prepare a similar table for the managerial 
side of the newspaper eslabiisbment. (Figures of number of persons em- 
ployed in daily newspapers are given in Appendix XXXVTII). The statis- 
tics received by us show that the emoluments are unsatisfactory in many 
cases. Perhaps the basic pays .suggested by the Bank Award might prove 


a useful guide for the purpose. We recommend that pro\'ision should be 
made in the proposed Newspapers and Periodicals Act for pres«ribing a mini- 
mum emoluments in their case also. We do not think it is possible for us 
to accept the demand made by the Pederaliori, namely, of a minimum \vag(' 
of Rs. 250 for Class I towns, ilial is. Bombay, Calcutta, Madras and Delhi 
Rs. 200 in Class 11 towns, that is. of these with a population of about 2 lakiis 
excluding the four cities and Rs. 150 in Class III 1owns, that is those whieli 
are not included in Class i and Class IL Wo have accepted the dernanci. 
of the Federation for Rs. 150 in Class III towns and have made as near an 
approach as possible to the demand made by the Federalaci in respecO of 
working journalists in Class 1 and Class II towns. We would have liked t(' 
accept the Federation’s demand in loto but we think that the industr>''s 
capacity to pay and tlu‘ present k‘V('i of national income prevent us from 
making any higher rr^commendations. Mr. Jaipal Singh. Mr. T. N. Singh 
and Mr. Chalapatlii Rau agree to the Federation’s dceiiand based on the 
Federation's classification of aieas. which keeps a larger iiumbcr of towns 
within the minimum range of iis 150 and brings a larger number of towns 
with a p(.»pulatiori of more than two laKlis within tiie minimum range of 
Rs. 200. 

548 Qualifications for being entitled to inininuiin wage. — We Uiink IVuse 
minima sliould tie appiieablc' as a minimum wage to ail working journahsls 
who are graduates or holder of (‘quivalent qualification including University 
Diploma in Journalism or have put in 5 years service (inc'luding period of 
appreni ieeshi)) ) on one oi- more nee'spaper>.. Where the existing nays ris 
not correspond with the minima we ha\e suggested for those wdio are 
qualified to earn themn immediate steps sliould be taken by newe;papers to 
ivi’ing their ermnumeiits to the reqnir(*(i le\-el. We realise that tliere may be 
'S.>me anomaliv's arising as a result ot the ti.xation of miuunnm wage, but we 
.•aiggesl tiiat tfiese anomalies could iic resolved by settling each case, on its 
merit, bv mutual negotialion. Mr. Clialapalhi Rau would, make no di.sl inction 
I'etwa-en gra(i nates and University diploma holders on the one liand. aiid 
iournalists not so (niaiilied on the other, in respect of ernpinyecs who are 
;ilre;Kl.\' engaged in Joiirnahsm at present. 

54t) Comparison with » cu oouncnda lion of ITliar Pradcsli and Madliya 
Fradesb Committees. — In tins conneeiion we may point out th.at Tlie Madiiy;; 
Pradesli Enqinry Cominitt(‘e ro^’ornnicndei ■ that liie minimum pay tor a .vib- 
editor in Madhya Pr-adiesh .should be Rs. lOU rnui Rs. .‘>.5 as flemoies^ allovuvu'C 
for Nagpui' and .Tiibbulpore and Rs. 25 elsewhere. Tliat waas in the yoni 
1948 when tiie All India cost of living index for working classes wa.-' 134 
(1944-100). It stood at 140 for 1953. The Uttar Pradesh Enquiry Com- 
imltee recommended that the banc wage ineludhu- (iearness allowance fo’ 
a sub-editor m <dass of jjapers sliould be Rs. 159, in ‘B’ class ot pajicrs 

Rs. 175 an-d in ‘A’ (dass of papivs Rs. 200. But that was in the .vear 195' 

when tlse Ali-India cost of living index for the working class stooii 128 
(1944-100). In 1953 the cost of living index was 146. The index number foi” 
Magpnr with 1939—100 has gone uv) from 372 in 1948 to 388 in 1953. Similarl.v 
for Kanpui the index No. witii 1939—100 has gone up from 332 in 1950 to 
358 in 1953. Bui we are onl.N' concerned witli recommending a rnini num 

wage We thirfk that onr recommendations are fairly in line with the re- 

^'ommendations of the Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh Committees parti- 
cularly having regard to the rise in the co.st of living which has taken place 
.since those reports were made. 


212 


N 5o() To uhom these recommendations should be applied. — These r e( om- 

iiiendc'il ion." should be applied to th(' employees of daily, bi-weekly and tri- 
weekly’ news r;apors and to the employees of news ageneies in the first ins- 
lance 'riu\v nu^y l)e extended by (Government to en\’er other categories of 
}>eriodi( ;i I'; publications run on Commercial lines. It is not intended that 
fieriodieak' tor thr' advancement of cultural, political, social or similar ol)jec- 
;:!\'( s or those conduetcsl })y the co-operat iv(‘ e(Tor1 (d a nuinlier of individuals 
.Ciould !)( l.andicapped or that (Unicullies should l)e placed in the way’ of 
diese C! c iea,\'onring to start pcndodicals at district centres. 

aal. it has howtwc'r })een urged by some of our colleagues that th<' mini- 
mniri w.igc, recomnu'uded iibove, may caus(' hardship to some of the smallei- 
units ol the ])ap('rs. especially/ to language papei’s. While apprecial itig tlie 
ditrKuitie.s of these papers, we feel that our other recoinmendat ifsns if irn- 
Piernc'iited should enal)le them to meet the expenditure' itjx’oU'ed in paying 
dit'- iiiininunn wages llrat wo ha\'e snggeste.'d, 

aid No disparity in minimum wage heivveen English and Indian language 
newspapers, — We do neg s^r wliy there- should be any eiisparity in th.- mini- 
'>uim we.gc between tfie 'cmidoyees on English papers and those' on Indian 
ianguage ju [lers, 'riie stanelard of journalism ('Xpected from Indian language 
])aj)ers is in no .^ense inferie.r to that of the English papers and ihe sug- 
gested minimum is baseel on considerations of the dignity of the offie-e, con- 
oitie'us of ji\d.ng and importance eif the work vlone ])y journalists. It is. 

1 . . ' e ! V I o j I.S i n ( I e'( )(,“ 1 1 ( k'l 1 1 of the ehreaimstanee' whether the joiirnrili.st is cymploy'^ed 
on Englisn or Indian language ne'W'spapers. 

SECTION VI 

Reporters and Correspondents 

.)5.j Sjyecial pre)blems aiase- in connection with the reporters and stall 
coriespondents. d’hese journalists elevole their full time to the ser- 
■•ice of tlic newspapers. Reporters work in the city where the paper 
!s i)ui.)iishc i ;,n,i the stall c<irrespond('nts are stationed outside the head- 
ouarler.v We do not sec why they should be treated in any way ditferently 
from ihe rcLUilar members of the stall. But as distinct from the editorial 
stall workings in the olFice, the reporters and staff c(;rrespondents have to 
incur some additiiaial and necessary expenditure in the oerformanee of their 
'VitK's in tie- shagH' of transport charges, postage, telephone and telegraph 
charge's. Tliey ha\'e also to spend a reasonable amount for the purpose of 
cntertainnicnt . This is a necessary part of the proper discharge of their 
outies. We thuik that these reporters and special corres|>ondents should be 
iuhy reimbursed by the newspapers in respect of siu'h expenditure. 

r>54. Tliose correspondents who are not in full time service with the news- 
papc'rs are \'ariously remunerated. It is true that many of them have not 
the training required for efficient discharge of their duties. Their emolu- 
ments are low and journalistic work is not their main occupation. Some get 
a nominal retainer charge. Others are paid purely on the lineage basis ac- 
cording to the amount of material supplied by them and utilised by news- 
papers. In some papers, there is a combination of both these systems 
the case of some papers th(' only remuneration received b.y these part-time 
mofussil correspondents is a free copy of the newspaper and the prestige 
that .goe.s with the position of a (‘orrespondent of a newspaper. In some 


places this prestige is iiigiily piazed as it results iu special consideration being 
shown to them by the local authorities. It is not possible or us to prescribe 
what the retainer tee sliould be. It depends upon the c apacity and the status 
ol the paper and also upon the nature and the diflicuity of the work involved 
in dilierent stations wiiei'e the mcjtussd c-orrespondents are posted. It is 
equally dillieuit to say what the I’ate cjii lineage l)asis should be. This is 
a matter lor mutual adjustinent tietween tlu' proprietor and the correspondent. 
But we Have received frecuiem complaints that prompt payment is not 
made to tliem and that m eonsiderabie number ol cases c\ en the out-ol- 
pocket expenses were not paid. We have also received e\'iden<‘e that although 
matei'iaj supplicst l)y mofussii cont-sirondents has not been paid for, on thn 
.qroimcis that it iia.'- not bc'en printed, it is in lad utdist'O !iy the pa|)er as 
background materia] or is utilised by other newspapers iiiuinr ttu- same,' 

ownership. We are satisfied that there is an element of trutli m tlusse com- 
plaints. It is ob\'ious Dial irrespective of the use made of then' matcriai 

mofussii conespondent s should he paid their out-of-pocket ex{.>eMscs sudr 
as 1 rans|ji »rt. teieplione and tcnegraijii cliargtss stationery and postage, etc. 
When the mofussii correspondents are engaged on lineage l.iasis the amount 
paid necessarily 'iepc'nds on the ciuantum of material actually utilised. But 
if Die c(.)ntrii,)uti(,)n ol the mofussii correspondents, tiiougli not printed, i.-^ 
used as bac'kgiound materia! by that newspaper i.ir used by another paper 
of the same- group, a.s has happened in .some cases, it is only lair that some 
rennuneration should be paid to tlu'in. Where, moreover, information is 
part icLilarl.v asked for and supplied, it siiouid bt, pau< foj- irrespect i\'c' of 

bic con.-idei-ation as to how much of it is actually utilised by Die papers 
Whisn a mofussii correspotuient engsigc'd by a paper supfilies material which 
wii: be uliliseii i)y other paper's in the same group, it is only equitable that 
Ww basis ol remuneration 'Ahether it is a fixed monthly payment or pay- 
ment made on lineage iiasis -sliould be refixed. The argument that Dee 
motussii con-erspondent :s engaged by Du- proprietor to supply information, 
and Diat it matters little to him in Itow many papers the propisietor chooses 
to puiilisi; Die material is not allogeDier convincing. The type of material, 
and tfie quantum of it would vary it a variety of newspapers are serveci. 
Wlien a mofu.’^sil correspondent stationed in Delhi supplies ne\^ss to one.' 
’.fami! newsjiaptu', he knows what would Ih of intei'cssl to Die readens"' ot Diat 
jiafX'r. If tire pronneloi- also owns a Tehigii pafier. the coitc'^ ponder, t has 
to ccA'er .1 wider field, lii siicli a case, he lias to su|)p!y items (.d uc'ws ol 

interest to ddhugu I'eader'S also. Whear ol the time of engagement Dre mofus- 
sil correspondent knows the papers to whom he has to supply news, no diffi- 
culty arises and it is po.ssilde lor the correspondent to make his own terms 
with the propi'ieior. When, however, new papers are addt'd to llie original 
list, the basis of payment should be refixed. 

500. There is another elass ot correspondents who de\'ote their whole 
time to jourrudism but serve not merely one paper but se\eral papers under 
different propTietors. It is generally undesirable that the same individual 
should aid as a mofussii corre.spondent for two or more newspapers at Die 
same time. These papers may possibly have dilTerent and some times contiict- 
ing outlook on public affairs and the practice is likely to demand that the 
eorrespondent compromises his independence and objecty in reporting. 
With the small remuneration that is being paid to the correspondents at 
present, it would not be fair to prevent them from taking up work for more 
than one paper. But iii such cases the fact that the eorrespondent is si r\ ing 
two or more papers simultaneously should bo made known to ah the paner.s 


214 


concerned. Such correspondents are not exclusive-time correspondents of 
any particular paper and cannot, at present, claim the benefits of provident 
fund and gratuity which are open only to permanent and full-time members 
of the staff. We have been informed of cases where at the end of their 
inurnalistic career such correspondents fmd themselves without any provision 
for retirement in the shape of provident fund or gratuity. We think that the 
■ ontracri of employment even on a part-time basis should include a provision 
for these benefits on the basis of salai'y paid. Even where the remumeration 
is not on a monthly basis, it might be possible to determine its ecpjivalent in 
Terms of monthly salary for the purpose of calculating these benefits. T’hese 
recornmcndat'oris would also apply to special rc-prosentatives appointed at the 
■’cpitals. 

We understand that in some cases, a practice prevails of relating the 
latc of payment to tlie number of eopies sold in the area assigned to the 
iTKdu.ssii correspondeni. It should be the aim of the correspondent to make 
the newspaper popular in the area by sending contributions of local ini crest 
which would attract a readership in that area. But because circulation is 
the only test applied to gauge ihe wilue of the reports, it is Quite conceivable 
that a mofussil correspondent would try to bring about increased circulation 
more by attnig as a sales agent and by canvassing sales than by the proper 
performance of his legitimate duties as a correspondent. There would also 
be the temptation to make his despatches sensational in order to stimulate 
local sale of copies. We arc not, therefore, in favour of relating the payment 
to a correspondent to the number of copies sold in that area. While tliere is 
no narm in a mofussil correspondent acting as sales agent in small places 
\’^'here there is not enough work in either capacity, the two functions should 
I'ob as far as possible, be entrusted to the same person. The practice of 
soles agents recommending persons for appointment as rnofi:?>sil corres- 
pondcnls should, in any cN’cnt, be discouraged. 


557. Nomr.ationais as speeiai or foreign correspondents.— One of the 

d'Oierai ns which Ims been •eeeel with regard ts) woiddng journalists is 

the desirability or elltcreere of Ihe crnplnyment of non-nationals in res- 
ponsible pi'sitiore- iii indian 'ew'spepers, at liome, or abroad, as 

sjoec'.o ot loi'oign leirre-;: pinic.ene;::. Article Xil(G) -e.r tlv' Draft Convention on 
ii teii!.. .tiona! i ransmis.eon 'W Dews and Riglil of Correction adopted by the 
Camera! Assomldy in 1 ^ 4 ^ rec'ogniscs die right of a contraedng State to 
reserve to its nationals the right to establish and direct newspapers in its 
terntoiy. Although, in our ooinion, it is generaby undesirable to employ 
non-Indians in managerial or editorial posts on Indian Newspapers, there 
shoidd, vre Ihndy be no legal or a bministrative bar against their employment. 
This rocommmidation of course does not apply to recruitment to posts of 
techmea! cimracler or posts for which no suitable Indian candidates are 
available. So far as special correspondents are concerned, \ve do not think 
dial there is any dearth of talent among Indian journalists. For a special 
assignment of a particular type, it, may be necessary to employ a non-Indian 
l)ut the employment of such non-nationals should be an exception rather 
than the rule. Particular care is, in our opinion, necessary in the employment 
ot non-nationals as foreign correspondents of Indian papers. As a general 
rule it IS desirable to appoint only Indians to such posts. 


558. A fear has been expressed that the despatches of non-Indian corres- 
pondents may be subtly biased in favour of the country to which these cor- 
respondents belong. But we realise that there are non-nationals high 
qualifications and special experience both of India and the country in which 


i 


*> 


they reside, whose coiuinued a.‘=sociation would be ot benefit io Indian news- 
papers. Although therefore there can be no hard and fast rule on the sub- 
ject, the desirability of employing only Indian nationals in these pi-sts needs 
hardly to be emphasized. 

559. Remuneration and other facilities to foreign correspondents. — In our 

opnnon, it i;: desirable that full time foreign correspondents of Indian news- 
papers shculd receive a definite remuneration regularly paid and that they 
.^nould be given iacilitics. particularly wliere itiey are Indian nationals, to 
visit India at least once in three years and that they should base the same 
provident fund and gratuity benehts as are applicable to those in In.iia. We 
have received some di.siresslng reports of the ciroamstances in wfiioh some 
o.f these ioreign oorrespojckmts iiave to work in loieign eountries, I'l’t view 
C'f vne specially responsible nr.iurf' of the work done b.y these correspondents, 
the Indian newspapers should conduct a careful enquiry and issu-.' ccoiedita- 
t;on on!v after being satisfied as to their reliability, their p<atnotisrn and their 
aoility to maintain themselves properly in the place where they ai-e ported, 
redess the newspapeiy are m a position U; make the foreign correspondenis 
avleauate payments to enable them to maintain themselves properl 3 y it is not 
desirable to make any .such appointment. It is conceivable that a foreign 
ronespondent may have to work for two or three newspaper. In such cases 
the liability'' for benefits should be shared by the I'espective papers. 

560. Foreign correspondents should not be business representatives.— In 
this connection a question has been raised whether it would be desirable to 
asjv foreign correspondents also to perforin the duties of business represen- 
tatives of the papers. In our opinion, as a general rule the two functions 
should be kept apart. A foreign correspondent will obviously be able to do 
bc;tl(T wol'k if he can concentrate Ivis attf ution solely on the editorial duties. 
But it may be inevitable in some cases to ask foreign corresperuhmts to per- 
icfrm duties of fyusiness representatives also, particularly wiioj'c the volume 
cf work in\-olved in (lie perfonnanee of these duties is ntd \'cry great. As a 
.lacg': part o! buidness work abroad is in the matter (jf securing advertise- 
ments the \miume of work of this nature will tend to diminish, as the 
advertisement business to a great extent now cmianates from India through 
tlie Indian subsidiaries of foreign firms. 

561. Indians in Foreign litformation Service.- - Another qic-'stioii wliicii 
ai’-scs is with regard to liie einploymenr and working conditions of Indians in 
Foreign Information Services operating in this country. It is obvious that 
Government should have full information regarding Indians employed in 
Foreign Information Services. There is no ob,iecli',>ri io tiie labour laws lieing 
made applicable to the Indians cmplo'’ed in the Foreign Information Services 
if they are so applliv] to working journafists outside the Foreign Information 
Seiwices. They should obviously get the same amenities and pi evileges which 
ihe emplo.yees get in other newspaper offices. Bui this point is somewhat 
academic because, so far as we arc aware, the Indian employees of Foreign 
Information Services on the whole get comparatively higher wages and more 
amenities. 

562. Free Lance Journalists. — We have also received representations with 
regard to the honorarium paid to freelance journalists. They are not attached 
to any particular paper and are willing to sell their material to any newspaper 
which is prepared to buy it. It is a fact, however, that many freelance jour- 
nalists find that the material supplied by them is used either in the same or 
in a modified form without any payment being made to them. This is 
obviously unethical. We consider that freelance journalists should, when 


216 


sending their contribution, indicate whether they want to be paid if the 
material is printed and, if so, at what rate. This should form the basis of an 
agreement between free-lance journalists and the newspapers as to the 
honorarium to be paid if the material supplied is utilised. The existence of 
chain newspapers has increased the difficulty of freelance journalists. Con- 
tributions which could have been sold individually to fi or 6' newspapers con- 
trolled by difl'erent proprietors have now to be sold to one proprietor who uti- 
lises the same in all the 5 or 6 newspapers of his. Of course it is theoreti- 
cally possible for a free-lance journalist to stipulate for higher payment on 
the basis of wider use made of his contribution. But, here, he has to face 
competition from syndicated material which is often available at a nominal 
cost. 


SECTION Vll 
BONUS 

563. Present practice.— We have received complaints from numerous quar- 
ters that working journalists have not been paid any bonus in a large number 
of cases even during those years in which the papers had made profits. From 
the replies that we have received to our Questionnaire, we find that the 
practice with regard to the payment of bonus has not been uniform. In some 
cases bonus equivalent to 3 months salary has been paid. In another paper 
il was restricted 1o one month’s salary. In a ceiiain paper when bonus equi- 
\'alenl to three months' salary is sanctioned, the payment is made in 3 instal- 
ments payable in the months of January, April and September. The result 
of this procedure is tliat although the employees have earned the right to 
receive bonus by working satisfactorily during the preceding year in respect 
of which the bonus has been sanctioned, they have to continue in service for 
6 or 9 montiis before tiiey become eligible to receive the full payment. But 
in an overwhelmingly- large number of papers no bonus is paid. 

564. Views of Association of Journalists.— It has been urged before us by 
the Indian Federation of Working Journalists that “where, at the time of 
employment, bonus has been assured as an inducement for accepting lower 
pay, the journalist should be entitled to get bonus irrespective of whether 
the concern makes a profit or not. In other concerns where there is no such 
condition precedent, bonus may be I'elated to profit. In no case should bonus 
be less than one month’s pay.” They have, however, gone on to say that the 
principle for the pay ment of bonus applicable to industries with similar in- 
vestment should be considered to hold good in the case of newspaper industry 
also. The All-India Newspaper Editors’ Conference have merely stated that 
the provision for bonus should be the same as is permissible in other business 
undertakings. The Indian Language.^^' Newspapers Association have stated 
that the payment of bonus to employees is a form oF profit sharing. They feel 
that it would be “reasonable to distribute among all categories of employees 

50 per cent, of the net profits arrived at after making provision for payment ^ 
of wages inclusive of dearness allowance etc. a continuous yearly 5 per cent, 
tax-free return on all the capital employed in the newspaper unit, taxation, 
overhead expenses and reasonable reserves for the maintenance and expan- 
sion of the undertaking.” 

565. Real Character of Bonus.—The real character of bonus has been 
considered by several Industrial Tribunals. The claim that it is merely an 
ex-gratia payment depending upon the will of the proprietor has generally 
been negatived. We would only refer in this connection to the Award of 
Labour Appellate Tribunal in Appeal No. I of 1950 filed by the Millowners’ 


Association at Bombay. In paragraph 20 of the report they observe as 
follows: 

“Now, bonus is cash payment made to employees in addition to wages 
It cannot any longer be regarded as ex-gratla payment, for, it 
has been recognised that a claim for bonus, if resisted, gives rise 
to an industrial dispute, which is to be settled by a duly constituted 

Industrial Court or Tribunal Where the goal of living 

wages has been attained, bonus like profit sharing would ref)resent 
more as the cash incentive to greater efficiency and production. We 
cannot, therefore, accept the broad contention that a claim to 
bonus is not admissible where wages have been standardised at a 
figure lower than what is said to be the living wage. Where the 
industry has capacity to pay and has been so stabilised that its 
capacity to pay may be counted upon continuously, payment of 
living wage is desirable: but where the industry has not that 
capacity or its capacity varies or is expected to vary' from year 
to year so that the industry cannot afford to pay living wages 
bonus must Vie looked upon as tlie temporal y satisfaction, wholly 
or in part, of tVie needs of the employee.” 

56(1. Views of the Labour Appellate Tribunal. In view of this authorita - 

tive pi’onouncement a question arises on what principle bonus should ‘he 
given. Obviously no claim for bonus arises where the industry has not made 
any profits in the particular year. But where a unit of the industry has made 
profits, the question, as to what portion of the [)rofit should be regarded as 
available for a charge in the shape of bonus, lias been considered by llie 
Labour Appellate Trifiunal in the case referred to above. They 
have pointed out that gross profits are arrived at after payment of 
wages and dearness allowance to the employ’ees, and other items of evXperidi- 
ture. Investment necessarily implies the legitimate expectatior, of the investor 
to secure recurring returns on the money invested by Ivirn in the industrial 
undertaking. It is also essential that the plant and machinery^ should loe kept 
continuously'' in good working order for the purpose of ensuring tliat return, 
and such maintenance of plant and machinery would also be to the advantage 
of labour, for the better the machinery the larger the earnings, and the better 
the chance of securing a good bonus. The first (’barge on the gross profits 
should therefore, be the amount of money that would be necessary for 
rehabilitation, replacement and modernisation of the machinery. As depreci- 
ation allowed by the income-tax authorities is only- a percentage of the 
written down value, the fund set apart y^early for depreciation and designated 
under that head would not be sufficient for these purposes. An extra amount 
woidd have to be annually set apart under the heading of “reserves” to 
make up that deficit. The Tribunal have then gone on to state “(hat the paid 
up capital is entitled to a fair return. It should be computed at 6 per cent.” 
So far as the reserves are concerned, they have stated that such reserves are 
not liable to normal trade risks and risks incidental to ti’ade cycles and, there- 
fore, the fair return on reserves should be mucli lower than the fair I'eturn 
on the paid up capital. Theyg therefore, took the gross profits for the parti- 
cular year in question and deducted therefrom first the depreciation and the 
taxes payable on the profits. From the balance they set apart a portion for 
rehabilitation by dividing the amount of capital required for rehabilitation by 
the number of years during which it has to be accumulated. From the balance 
they allowed 6 per cent, on the paid up capital and 2 per cent, on the reserves 
employed as working capital. From the balance that was left they^ made a 
small provision for payment of bonus to clerks and other staff and found out 


218 


what amount was available for payment as bonus to the employees. Alter 
making all these deductions they asked themselves the question as to w^hether 
the employees were entitled to any and to what bonus and they proceeded to 
State as foi low’s: — 

“I'he answ( r to this issue is not easy for we have to consider in this 
context the needs of the employees, the claims of the shareholders 
and tlie requirements of the industry. The subject is not readily 
responsive to any rigid principle or precise formula and so far we 
have been unable to discover a general formula. This does not 
mean, however, that the answer to this issue is, in any way, 
fortuitous; nor aie vre in any doubt as to the considerations which 
must prevail in deciding wdiat the am.ount of bonus should be. 
Essentially tiie quantum of bonus must depend upon the relative 
prosperity of the concern during the year under review and that 
prosperity is probably best rellecled in the amount of the residuary 
surplus; the needs cf labour at existing wages is also a considera- 
tion of importance; but we should make it plain that these are not 
necessarily the only considerations; for instance, no scheme of 
allocation of bonus could be complete if the amount out of which 
a bonus is to be paid is unrelated to employ efTorts; and even. 
W"hen we have mentioned all these considerations we must not be 
deemed to have exhausted the subject. Our approach to this 
problem is motivated b\^ liie requirement that we should ensure 
and achieve industrial peace which is essential for the develop- 
ment and expansion of industry. This can be achieved by having a 
contrail ed labour force on I be one hand, and on the other hand an 
investing public wdio would be attracted to the industry by a 
stead and progressive ix-turn on capital which the industry may 
be able to ofTc-r. It goes wdtiiout saying that if the residuary sur- 
plus IS appreciably larger in any particular year it should be 
possible for I’ne Company to give a more liljeral bonus to the 
employees. 


• Om A tc-.nn.rn .nidi* ; :s:i. (cur sucgestio.n is tlaiL the gr<sss profits should 
i.‘0 asceiteCio \i i;) Lji.' iNjcrnaj. way l>y ca'oueimg (he ex['<siditure from the 
income. A jwovision then bc^ made for payment of taxes, for depre- 

ciabon at the rate aiiowable under the Income-tax Act and for a return at 
' h-*' !r:crc dian thi; bank rate or 4 per cent. W’bichever is higher, on the 

invested sh.eri- capital. The balance should be regarded as ‘clear profit.^ 
Tiiis should be divided into 3 portions. One-third should be avaiiable for 
inent of bonus, eilher '•omediateiy or if the amount is not large enough. 

si-ch oaymrnil, -ontingentiy. thus narrowing the gap between the 
existirig unsatisfa-tory wnige and the living wag(e One-third should be re- 
served for plougiiing liael; into the industry and for making a provision for 
meeting future losses, and the remaining one-third should be available to 
the umi for (hstrlbution to the shareholders.- It would be seen that our scheme 
is a slight variation of the scheme adopted by the Labour Appellate Tribunal. 
In arriving at the clear proht we have made provision for the barest mini- 
mum necessary for carrying on the industry. The expenditure is calculated 
on the basis of the existing wages of the employees w^hich are not in all cases 


adequate. Depreciation has been allowed at the rate permitted by the Income- 
tax Act, but this depreciation even when spread over a requisite number of 
yeais would not enable the machinery to be replaced with the amount avail- 
able in the depreciation fund. No provision is made for obsolescence. This 
point has been recognised by the Labour Appellate Tribunal wher6 they have 
not only provided for depreciation but also for reserves. We have only 







219 


allowed for a return on the share capital at 4 per cent instead of 6 per ceiH, 
as under the scheme of the Labour Appellate Tribunal. We have made no 

provision for return on the reserves. It would thus be seen that the claims 

of ail the three, namely, shareholders, the employees and of the industry are 
each met only in part. It is for this reason that we have .suggested the divi ■ 
sion of the clear prohts into three portions so that each of these three claims 
may be partially satisfied. 

568. Analogy of Electricity (Supply) Act 11)48.— Tins scheme is not alto- 
gether novel. Some variation of it appears under the Electricity (Supply) 
Act of 1948. The aim of that Act is to cast an obligation upon tlie Electricity 

Company to adjust ds rates for the supply of olectricily unci oilier amenities 

to tlie public in such a way that its ‘clear profits’ should not exceed the 
hcasunable' reuirnf II ‘clear profits' do exceed tlie^ reasonable return, (and 
i!'i:d (meess is limiled tc* 30 per cenl. of the reasonable returns then the excess 
IS dwisvibie as stated in the Act. The reasonable return under the Act means 
tlie amount iound by applying tVie standard rate of 5 per cent, of the ‘capital 
base’. The clear proiit under the Act means ihe diilerence between the 
amount of income and the sum of expenditure plus specific appropriations as 
stated in the sixth Scliedule to tlu; Act. Tlie ailowabic expenditure has been 
specified in the sane. Schoduie and includes generation and purchase of 
entngy, distribution and sale of energy’ and several oihci' items wThch nor- 
mally form part of the expenses of a commerciri rir: e rn. It mrhuits items 
concerning remuneration of and benefits to labour such as contributions to 
provident fund, stair pension, gratiniy, apprentice and otlier traming 
: clieincs; but there is no provision for bonus. The Labour Appellate 
Tribunal found in Appeal No. 294 of 1951 that bonus could not come 
out of ‘d'casonable return". They held that it would be less than, just 
if the reasonable return, limiu'd as it was to 5 per cent. on iiie 
capital its(--]f. slioidd lie saddhai witVi tlie burdim of bonus. If, thei v'foj'e, 
buiius eould not cenu.' ehhm* out of the allowable expenditure or out 
of I'esstmaldc return, tUe p'>sitiei; w..;,- tiiai eager tlie bonus couJri not be 
paid at all or it had to come out of the clear profits. But under the selierne 
of div' Act if the clear profits of a licensee in any 3 'ear exceeded the amount 
of reasonable return, one-third of rue'll ov(;( A at (ij:y)osal of the 

iiiidCitaliing, 'lie-bind is to be i.iipri-prialed to a I'eserve iu be called the 
TariiTs, DivaUuids and Control Th’sei’ve and the remaining oic'-third is to 
bo distributed in the form of a proportional rebate on the amoLints c«)l{ect<?d 
f'‘om the sale of c\'::-:iyUAy mul ouser ismtals (*r carried foi'ward m the 
aecoimts of ihc lir-rnsee Tot* distribution to the cOLisumers in future. The In- 
dustrial Cour^ avrarrBd bnnu • by stating that it could come out of the allovn- 
able expenditure under the head of '‘expenditure for managernent'd The 
Labour Appcllale Tribunal jayectrA this view and stated thai, all allowable 
e.xpenditure had bex'n ihnjii'-'ed and Ixmos eouhf scat cceiu' out of ihe allow- 
able expendituT'e. Th(‘ Labour Appellate Tribunal, howe\er, divided the 
surplus into four portions permitting the rniOai lakiag to disi.i ihute one-fourth 
share as bonus and tiie remaining three-.hjurt.i . to be dividcal into three por- 
tions as laid down in the Act. However, it appears to us that even Ihi.s pro- 
cedure was not in strict conformity with the Act. Our Scheme is a slight 
variant of the scheme laid down in the Electricity (Supply) Act of 1948 of 
how the difference between the clear profits and reasonable return is to be 
divided. Following the scheme of the Act wm reserve one-third of the nett 
profits for ploughing back into the industry. We reserve another one-third for 
the benefit of the undertaking which in practice means distribution to share- 
holders. The remaining one-third is not reserved in this case lor readers of 


220 


newspapers, as the Act does for future rebate to tiie consumers of electricity; 
we earmai'k it for the benefit of the employees thus eliminating the difficulty 
which the Labour Appellate Tribunal found in indicating the fund from 
which the bonus was to be paid. 

5t)9. The scheme of the Electricity (.Supply ) Act of 1948 has been praised 
by the Fiscal Commission as a piece of pioneer legislation on the electricity 
supply Indus ti*}^ in this country which “attempted to draw up a standard 
financial code for this industry” (See page 17(5 of Volume I of the Report). 
We venture to think that the scheme that we have outlined will meet with 
,g ener a 1 ac cep ta nc e . 


SECTION VIII 

HOURS OF WORK 

570. Increased work load. - Thei*e has been a general complaint tiiat 
th<n‘c aie no fixed hours of work for working journalists on most of the 
papers. Where they have been prescribed, they are unsatisfacto] > § Tins 
has been laigc’ly due to the fact that offices of most new'spapers are under- 
stalfed on the editorial side. It is also to be remembered that duties and 
responsibilities of working journafists have mci'eased during llie last few^ 
years and this has resulted in increased work load. During the British 
regime legislati\e and governmental activity to be covered in Delhi for 
example, was nothing like what we find today. There are about 700 Mem- 
bers of Parliament, 40 Central .Ministers, the State Assembly and 3 Stale 
Ministers Iniicl inning in Delhi itself for very much longer duration in the 
year than used to he the case. 'Inhere are large numbers of official pubhea- 
tions and policy statements to bt* studied and summarised. All this has 
meant moi work for journal ists. Hut it is doubtful wliether the strength 
of tile staffi has been correspondingly increased. Where the hours of work 
arc fixed, the shilts ai'e so arranged that they often cause inconvenience to 
journalists. In some cases the niglu shifts end at an awkward time. Tins 
ma\', to some extent, be mevitablr* in a newspaper office, but effoit should 
be made to minimise tlu' inconvenience as far as possible. 

571. Our recommendations.- We agree wnth the view of tlu' A.I.N.F.C. 
and the Federation that for day shift.- the hours of wa^rk should be 42 hours 
in a () day week, that is, 7 hours a day including the recess period of one 
hour. This means (i hours (‘tfective w'ork. For night shifts there should 
be 38 hours in a 6 da\' wmek, that is, 6 hours per day with a recess for half 
an hour; which means hours of effective work. As we have suggested 
reduced hours of work for night shifts, w^e do not think that any special 
payment as night shift allowainee is called for in their ease. There is 
alwaiys the danger that employees waiuld prefer to do night work in order 
to earn the special allowance, to the detriment of their health. Where any 
of tile hours of work of the shift fall between the hours of 11 p.m. and 5 
A.M. the shift should be regarded as night shift. No person should be 
employed on the night shift continuously for more than one week at a time 
or for more than one week in any period of 14 days. In view of the nature 
of Die wTirk on newspapers, strict adherence to the hours of work may 
not always be possible and if any employee has to work beyond fixed hours, 
he should bo compensated, not by any overtime payment, but by giving 
him additional recess equal to the period of overtime work put in by him. 



572. In the ciise of reporters, the nature of their work is such that it is 
impossible to lay down fixed hours of work. Most of the news breaks in 
tile ariernoons and in the evening's, and tiie suggestion that was made to 
ns by one of the journalists associations was that the main body of reporters 
should work between 2 p.ivi. and 10 p.m. deserves consideration. Other 
r»aHirte)\s will of course have to be engaged for news that may break at 
otlicr times of the day. But these stmuld be few and the ntirmal hours 
i>f work for the main body of th(' reporting staff should be lietweini 2 p.m. 
and 10 p.M. 


SECTION IX 


Weekl.v rest and holidays 


.573. Present praetiee regarding weekly rest. — With rai'c exceptions h is 
the normal practice in nc\vspap‘‘rs to gi\-e a weeki>’ period ol rest t" the 
oditoiiiil Starr, (.'(Iiisislins visualls al a (•(impleto da\ and night, Wlierc 
paper coriKi's out for .ai\ da\ in a vve.'k, it is ('.iniparativcly an easy matter, 
and ilic da>' nf n-'-i i.s Itie ria>' pri-eetling the one nli wlneli Itie issue ul 
..ewspape)' does iml appear. But, the sitiiatinn is somewhat eomirli- 
aated Iw' ttie fad lliat it is the |>raetiee of many newspapers to Ining out 
news))apers on all the seven days of the week. 


'74. Seven-day papers and objeetioii Itiiereto. I'his piav'lice of seven- 

dfi>' issues vw'is bi’ought alsoid partly at least !.)>' ilic ehange iwei finm 
e\enmg papers. Formerly the Uirgest issue was published on Saturday 
c'X'enings and pj()\'id('d reading matter on Sundays. Since th .* lall of news 
.’ill Sundavs is generally light, it covdd be safely carried (tvei to Monday 
evening’s paper. But the change to morning editions left a blank on 
iVlouday morning. During the war I'nis gap w^as felt by the readers. New’s- 
papers first filled it up by a skel(.‘ton issue carrying rnoia.' than the usual 
qiK)ta of rc'ports from mofussil correspondents and left-over articles; but 
nnw tin* Monday issue is nf>t rnueb smaller than the lesl. 


•575. 7lhv(t objections have been I'aised against siwoim-day papers. The 

first is that all the stall cannot have a common day of rest on Sundays, 
siru'c the weekly day of rest will be allotted to each person b\- rotation, 

and only a few members of the staff would be free on Sundays, the 

remainder having some other day of the week as their day of rest. While 

we .grant the merits of a common day of rest, we must also admit tliat in 
some othrvr public services, like th(' railways similar conditions. exist. 
Moreover, in many industries in the private sector, the day of rest has had 
to be staggered round the week in order to meet shortages of powa?r supply, 
and many industries work right round the week. While therefore obser- 
\ance of Sundays as the common day of rest ma>- be desirable, it is by 
no means univ'ersal in other fields of (employment and cannot be considered 
an absolute necessity in this field. The other objection to Sunday papers 
is based on the grounds that the magazine section provides a lot of reading 
matter and therefore robs the weeklies of their legitimate readership. 
While this point of view was put forward by some witnesses, others argued 
that the nature of the articles in the magazine section is essentially difYerent 
from that of articles in wmoklies of ^the type contemplated, and that these 
magazine sections serve a useful purpose in bringing to the notice of people, 
who never read anything beyond their daily paper, a selectio]i of articles, 


which thoiigli often superficial, at least drew the attention of the readers 
to developnienls going on around them. 

576. There has been no development in India of ''Sunday papers” as 
Uiey are generally known elsewhere, papers which are brought out only 
on Sundays and which range all the way from tlie “Observer” to the 
"News of the World” in the United Kingdom. One or two publishers (;1‘ 
dailies do bring oui, on Sundays, papers which are quite close' to some of 
the less praiseworlliy examples in the Uniti'd Kingdom. Others, who had 
adopted sp(-('ial namt's ioi' the Sunda>' (uin ^ais in order to get over certain 
limitations imposed by tlie Newsprint Control Order, have gradually 
brought them closer in line witli thfur daily editions, and the Sunday edition 
IS distjtigu ishable only by the fact that U is accompanied by a magazine 
supplement, 'fhey hav’e, howeveis continued to keep in force tiieir separate 
declarations for the Sunday edition and t'X'eii continue tlieir separate 
membership ol newspaper organisations which gives them an additional 
\'()tt\ In all these cases, the atvaiimis ari' maintained in common with tlaxsc- 
i'l th(.' diiily edition, and the staff empUtyed are also in common. 

577. No conimtHi solutions io those objections. — The two objections that 
we have mentiotu'd do not however permit of a common solution. If tlie 
intenlic)!! is t',) leave readers tree to peruse' tlie weeklies without distraction 
from the magazine supplement, it would be necessary only to prescribe, 
in conjunction with tlie priee-page sche'diiie' an absolute maximum to the 
nimibe]' of pages that c‘an be published on any one day, in additicn to the 
total foi' the week. Tills would liave the effect of compelling llie publishers 
to distribute, oxam the six days »>f the week, an\’ articles, features and 
photographs tliat the>' w’ould normally concentrate in the Sunda>' edition 
We are afraid, liowcver, that on working days tliese articles and features 
would Cai! to attract tlie 'dti.mlion tiiey deserve and would be gradually 
dropped. Witnesses werc' agreed that these features did fill a dehnite gap 
in the reading matter' of tlie averagi' citizen and it would be a pity to do 
<a\\a\' witli th(‘m. On the oilier fiand, the measure pre>posed might .merel\' 
ri-sull ill the Sunday editii'Ji cf>ining out under a different name. 

57o. I'he other st'lution, of declaring Sunday a comptilsoiy lot]ida\' for 
ail woi'kini.; joinaialists wonlu (Oiablc* all of them to liave their day of rest 
in cor:irvin\' w'itli many other:;, who woi'k in factoiaes and establishments. 
It wmiild not in an\ way affect tlie production of Sunday editions; at tlie 
most tiio; would go to press by Ih-' midnight of Saturday instead of two 
or three hours Inter as at pia'S'mt Wliat weadd happen is that there waiuld 
be no edition of thc' paper on Monday morning. It w’^ould not in any case 
be possibh f^r all working iMurm-hsts to have tlvdi' day of rest on Sundav 
oecause e\av\ paper rd’ innvmtanco would need to maintain a skeleton staff 
at work on S'un.days sc- thal a Inaef supplement (‘onld bo brought out in 
ease anything vavy important liappcns on Sunday. The no was cUgencicv 
W’ould in an>’ ca.'W lun’f' to be manned on Sunda\as. 

5 79, Our rccomnieiiclution. — A consequence of such an arrangement may 
be a slight reduction in employment. At present w’e are informed that the 
practice in many iarge papers is to man the editorial offices at almost 
the same level and wdth the same number of shifts on Sundays as on 
other days. If this is generally the" case, the reduction in employment 
might amount to 10 per cent or so. We would therefore recomn]i6nd that 
it the professional bodies are of the opinion, after balancing the advantages 


and drawbacks of six-day newspapers, that Sunday sfunild be declared a 
'Conipuls<.>ry da\ of rest for them, tills provision should be included lU th«._ 
enactment for the industry that we are recommending elsewhere 

5BU. Holidays — Our recommendation. — The practice ol gnaug hoiria}:. \'-- 
the newspaper statf varit^s from region to region and e\ en \n the saine 
region diiiers from paper paper. It would be impossihh to prescribe 
imiform holidays for newspapers on the whole tn India liie festivals 
celebrated in one part of the country difTer ironi lUose c- :eb.aled lu 
another part. The maximum number of holidays given to newspapers stad^ 
is in Uttar Pradesh. All that we can suggest is tliat tlie total number ot 
liolidays for newspapers should not exceed 10 n. luimbei. How they 
should be distributed would depend upon the region in winch tlie^ news- 
paper IS puldished, liie chararder of the newspaper concenu'd and 
composition itf journalists employed on that paper. It ma) co,nc(‘i\ ahii 
happen that a member r*f tire staff maN’ be required to attend aui liie day 
which has been declarcai to be a hn]ida>a But in such a case a compensat ■■ >ry 
holiday should lie given to the member of the stalT on some other day 
chosen by him. 

SFX TION X 
Leave 

581. Existence of leave rules — Our suggestion. — iVlan\' oi the ncnvspapers 

have not adopted any leave rules applicable to the editorial stall . Some ol 
ihe bigger newspapers do have a set of rules which are on ti e whole not 
unsatisfactor>'. We have received complaints that even tliough liie rules 
exist, journalists have not been able to avail IhemseKes of the leave faci- 
lities owing to the inadequate strengtli ol the slaf. It has also been 
rc'prcsenicd to us that tiie sanction of the leave applicatioti (huiends to a 
large extent on the personal relations of the applicant with the manager. 
It lun' bt'cn a}ieg(,'d that cases ot fa\'Ouritism often ocssur wheia- a poiin 
lias been siietched in favour of the relatives ot tiie manager. But it must 
be said tliat on liie wfiole no serious cases of hardship caused !)y tlu.' non- 
observance of the existing rules have been brought h» our nouco. vVe think; 
lliat all nevvspag^ers should draw up a set of leave rules applicafvie to their 
slatT both on the editoi’iai ano managerial side and gi\a:' a ci)p\’ of the^w; 
rules to each employee at the time of his first appointnumt. 

582. No uniformity regarding quajitum of leave. — Tliere is .little uni- 
formity/ among nevrspapers 'vith. regard to the quantum of leave permissible 
to the employees. In many cases no provision is .made for casual lea\’e 
and where a provision is made, the maximum period of casual leave varies 
from 7 days to 15 days. The general rule witfi regaid to privilege leave is 
one month’s leave for every year of service. The rules regarding sick 
leave vary from paper to paper where such rules at ail exist. The period up 
to which leave may be accumulated also differs from paper to paper. Where 
leave has been accumulated but not utilised at the time of the termination 
of the employment, the benefit in respect of that accumulation by payment 
of salary for that period is not always given to the employee, and has 
sometimes been withheld on the ground that such payment is dependent 
upon the employee’s loyalty to the paper and could not be made to a 
journalist who seeks to quit the service of that paper. 



58:i Kecominendation of Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh Committees 

and views of professional bodies. — The question of leave w^as considered 
by the Uttar Pradesh Newspaper Industry Enquiry Committee who recom- 
mended a grant of 15 days casual and 30 days earned leave in a year. 
They said that privilege leave could be accumulated up to a period of 60 
days. With regard to leave on medical certificate, the Committee thought 
lhat a journalist should get such leave according to rules similar to those 
which apply in the case HT Govei nment servants. The Madhya Pradesh 
Newspapci' Industry Enquiry Committee also recommended that a Journalist 
should be entitled to 15 days casual leav'e and 30 days privilege leave in 
a year. They also thought that every employee should be entitled to 15 
days lea\’e on medical ground every year and that such leave should be 
on hah pay. I’he A.l.N E.C'. have slated that earned leave, casual leave 
and sick leave should be given uniformly to all categories of wa>rking 
journalists on terms and conditions applicable to Goveinment servants. 
They said that there should be a maximum limit to which earned leave 
may l)o accumulated, but the limit may be relaxed if a member of the staff 
IS pri'vented from availing himself of leave when he applies for it. owdng 
to the exigencies of serx’ict*. They thought lliat an eniplo\’ee w'^hose ser- 
vices waire tenninated or w ho rehnqui.shed his .job on his own account should 
be paid compensation equivalent to and in I'espeet of leave earned but 
not enjoyed in addition to Ijeing given the prescribed period of notice 
w’hen his services are terminated; the leave and the notice period should 
not be made concurrent. The I.L.N.A. considers that casual leave for 12 
days and privilege leave for one month is reasonable for the editorial and 
managerial employees and privilege leave may be allowed to be accumu- 
lated upto three months. If the Employees State Insurance Scheme is 
brought into operation then there would be no necessity to provide for sick 
leave to employees. With regard to the payment of compensation for leave 
canu'd l)Ul not availed of, the Association considered that compensa- 
tion should be equivalent to the total emoluments per month multiplied 
by the period of leave earned but not availed of. The Federation have 
taken the vieW’ that 15 days casual leave, one month earned leave for 
every 11 months of service and one month sick leave .should be granted. 
The pri^dIege leave should be allow^ed to be accumulated to four months. 
But the employee should be paid for any period exceeding 4 months if he 
is prevented from enjoying that leave owdng to the conditions beyond his 
control. 

;rH4. Our recoiivniendation. — We are of the view that iournalists should 
ha\e casual leave for 15 days in a year and earned leave for one month 
for every 11 months of service. In addition, they should be given sick 
leave at the rate of 20 days for every^ year of completed service on half 
the salary, with option to the employee to convert it into half the period 
on full salary. Such sick leave should be admissible only on medical certi- 
ficate and on return to duty the employee should produce a certificate of 
fitness, such certificate to be given by the doctor nominated by the new^s- 
paper office. Special leave rules foi lingering illness like tuberculosis 
should be drawui up on the basis of such leave to w^hich Government ser- 
vants are eligible. Both the earned and the sick leave may be permitted 
to be accumulated up to a maximum period of three months in either 
case. The management should intimate to the employee the period during 
which leave is available and should do so by rotation as determined by 
ballot. When an employee voluntarily relinquishes his post, he should be 



compensated in respect of leave earned but not availed of. Similarly at 
the time of retirement the employee should be entitled to get cash com- 
pensation for leave not availed of up to the full extent of accumulation. 
We think that the leave rules should be uniform for all categories of 
employees for the editorial and the managerial staff and in respect of 
different types of newspapers. 


SECTION XI 


585 . Amenities and Facilities. — We made enquiries as to how many of 
the following amenities and aids to efficiency were provided by the news- 
papers in their respective offices: — 

(i) Libraries with Research and Reference Sections; 

(ii) Press Clubs, with Government aid (by way of grant of land or 

in other ways) or without Government aid; 

(iii) Adequate accommodation in office; 

(iv) Canteens and Tiffin rooms; 

(v) Telephones at office and at residence; 

(vi) Day and night rest rooms; 

(vii) Provision for transport during unusual hours and in emer- 

gencies; 

(viii) Games and recreation; 

(ix) Residential accommodation; 

(x) Facilities for travel; 

(xi) Insurance to cover hazardous assignment. 

We also had the benefit of personal visits to certain newspaper offices in 
Madras, Bombay, Calcutta and Delhi. We find that in the bigger news- 
papers in the four metropolitan cities adequate provision is made for some 
of the amenities and aids to efficiency enumerated above. They have 
good libraries with Research Sections. One paper in Bombay provides a 
Club House. There is fairly adequate accommodation in the offices of the 
bigger papers, and some of them provide canteens for the staff, often run 
on a co-operative basis. Telephones are an essential amenity for working 
journalists and the senior editorial staff like editors and news editors are 
generally provided with telephones. It is possible that during the last 
few years when it was difficult to get any telephone connections, an adequate 
number of telephone could not be provided, but as the situation eases, 
it should be possible for the newspapers particularly the bigger ones to 
extend the telephone facility to other senior members of the staff such as 
assistant editor, chief sub-editor, etc. Night rest rooms are essential for 
journalists who go ofl' duty at a time when transport is not easily avail- 
able. Only some of the bigger papers have made provision for games and 
recreation. The housing problem presents some difficulty particularly in 
metropolitan towns. One paper in Delhi had made an attempt to provide 
flats for their staff. But we are informed that later on the rents for these 
flats in that building were fixed at such a high figure that the staff could 
not afford to pay them and the building was let out to non- journalists 
who could pay. Facilities for travel are, in some cases, provided only to 
accredited correspondents when they go on a particular assignment. 

18 M of I & B 



226 


586. Our recommendation. — Although all the amenities referred to above 
are desirable, we consider that the following are essential: — 

(i) Libraries with Research and Reference Sections; 

(ii) Provision for supply of drinking water and if possible cooling 

arrangements in hot weather; 

(iii) Day and night rest rooms; 

(iv) Transport during unusual hours and in emergencies at least by 

the bigger newspapers, that is, those having a circulation of 
about 50,000; and 

(v) Insurance to cover hazardous assignments. 

If canteens and tiffin rooms are provided, they should be run on a co- 
operative basis wherever possible. 


SECTION XII 
Promotions 

587. Present practice — Our recommendation. — In most newspapers there 
are no regular rules for making promotions to senior posts. These appoint- 
ments have not always been made from amongst the holders of junior posts. 
Several cases have been brought to our notice where direct appointments ^ 
of outsiders have been made, overlooking the claims of the holders of 
junior posts. Even when a selection has been made from amongst the 
holders of junior posts, it has been alleged that these promotions have not 
necessarily gone by merit and that other considerations have very often 
weighed with the authorities concerned. In one case we were told that the 
promotion was given to a junior member of the staff as a reward for his 
ceasing to be a member of the union! In other cases, suggestions were made 

that certain promotions were given because the persons concerned happened 
to belong to the same sub-caste as the managing director. It has been stated 
by one of the unions that efficient devotion and loyalty to work are not [ac- 
tors which govern promotions. Another union stated that independence of 
charaeter and high qualifications were regarded as disqualifications. But 
the refrain of many of the representations made to us is that promotions are 
given to the friends of the general manager or according to the will of the 
proprietor. We have not been able to verify the correctness or otherwise 
of many of these allegations. It may be that some of these allegations had 
been made on account of the resentment felt by journalists whose claims 
were superseded. We are of the opinion that promotions should be made 
by the appointing authority on the advice of the editor or the manager as 
the case may be and in consultation with the senior members of the respec- 
tive sections who would be competent to express an opinion on the fitness 
or otherwise of the candidate. The same principles which we have suggested 
for adoption in the case of recruitment should apply to promotions. 

588. Merit bonus. — We have noticed that on some papers there is a 
practice of giving special increments for recognition of exceptional merit. 

We do not think that special merit should be recognised in this particular 
manner, as the practice is likely to lend itself to abuse. But we see no 
objection for specially meritorious work being recognised by the grant of a 
special merit bonus. 


SECTION XII 


Retirement Benefits 

5B9. Existing praetiee. — There are several ways in which retirement bent- 
Jits can be provided. They are pension, provident fund, gratuity, old age 
insurance, etc. There is a general consensus of opinion among those who 
replied to our Questionnaire and among those who gave evidence beloie 
us that a provident fund-cum-gratuity scheme is preferable to pension. Actual- 
ly, there are only a few papers who have a provision for retirement beneht, 
but wherever there is a provision made, it is always in the shape of provi- 
dent fund and/or gratuity. In one paper in Calcutta an employee 
butes 10 per cent, of his salary and an equal amount is contributed b\ the 
management towards the provident fund. In addition to that there is a pro- 
vision for gratuity under which after 7 years’ service the employee gets one 
month’s pay for every year of service. One news agency, two papers in Poona 
and two papers in Nagpur and Jabalpur have a provident lund to width 
the employee and the management contribute one anna in a rupee. One 
paper in Calcutta makes contribution to provident fund of the employees 
only if the nett profits in that year is more than Rs. 35,000. Some important 
papers in Madras have a provident fund to which both the employer and 
the emplovee contribute. But if the employee quits service before U) years 
are over, only 10 per cent, of the employer’s contribution is payable to the 
employeev The percentage of the employer’s contribution rises as the com- 
pleted years of service increase from 10 years to 20 years. After 20 years 
of service the employer’s contribution is payable in full to the employee. 

590. Provident Fund-chm-giMtuity scheme.— We are in agreement 
with the view that provident fund-cum-gratuity is the best way 
of providing fer retirement benefit and is preferable to a provision 
for pension. If the employee dies within a year or two after retirement 
on a pension, his family is left entirely unprovided for unless there is also 
a scheme by which the employee is entitled to commute a part of his pension 
and receive cash payment. We are of the opinion that the employee should 
contribute 8 1/3 per cent, of his emoluments in the shape of compulsory 
contribution and the employer’s contribution should be of an equivalent 
amount. We think that the Employees’ Provident Funds Act (XIX. of 1952) 
should be made applicable to such a provident fund. That Act is at present 
applicable to certain industries specified in the Schedule to that Act. The 
newspaper industry is not one of them. But under Section 4 of the Act the 
Central Government has the power by notification in the Official Gazette 
to add to the Schedule any other industry in respect of the employees whereof 
it is of opinion that a provident fund scheme should be framed under the 
Act and, thereupon, the industry so added is to be deemed to be an industry 
specified in the Schedule. The advantage of the Act is that the contributions 
are separately funded and are not liable to attachment. Under Section 17 
of the Act, the amount of Accumulations in the provident fund is to be invest- 
ed in such manner as the Central Government may direct and the amount 
of accumulations to the credit of an employee in the provident fund shall, 
where he leaves his employment and obtains re-employment in another 
factory to which the Act applies within such time as is specified by the 
Central Government, be transferred to the credit of his account in the Fund 
established under the scheme applicable to the factory. If the Act is applied 
to the newspaper industry it would not be within the power of the employer 
to withhold the whole or any percentage of his contribution merely because 
the employee has not put in the requisite number of years of service. But 


we also recommend that the employee’s contribution should be utilised for 
the purpose of effecting an insurance on the life of the employee. If the 
employee dies within a few years of service, the total amount to his credit 
in the provident fund may prove to be a totally inadequate provision for 
the members of his family. If, on the other hand, the employee’s contri- 
bution is utilised towards the purchase of a policy this kind of contingency 
could be guarded against to some extent. There is, however, one difficulty 
which has to be faced. If the employee continues to remain in the service 
of the paper for a certain number of years, there is no difficulty. But if he 
quits the service of the paper aftei* a year or two, then he will have to find 
ways and means for continuing to pay the premium on the policy which 
has been taken out. If he can meet these payments, and keep the policy 
alive, there would be no difficulty. But if he cannot, the policy may lapse. 
We, therefore, suggest that the contributions of the employer and the em- 
ployees should be accumulated for a period of three years. At the end of 
three years the accumulation to his credit would amount to six months’ 
wages on the basis of contribution of one month’s pay for every year of 
service by the employer and the employee. This amount could be utilised 
for purchasing a single premium policy which would ensure some provision 
for his family in case of sudden death of the employee. But if the death 
occurs within a period of three years, then such amount as may stand to 
the credit of the employee in the provident fund would be payable to his 
family. This may involve some amendment of the Employees’ Provident 
Fund Act. The point as to how best provision could be made for an insur- 
ance scheme was considered at some length in the Report of the Uttar Pradesh 
Newspaper Industry Enquiry Committee on pages 25 to 27 of their report 
and their conclusion is stated in the following words: — 

“The Committee feels that it is difficult for it to prepare the outhnes 
of a sound and ideal insurance scheme. That is the business 
of Government experts and other experts engaged in insurance 
work. While, therefore, recommending that provision should 
be made for compulsory life insurance of journalists, the Com- 
mittee expresses the hope that Government will draw up a 

scheme with the help of the said experts and will include it 

in the law to be enacted in respect of the newspaper industry.” 

They have examined two or three schemes and have not found any of them 
suitable to Indian conditions. This is a technical matter and we echo the 
opinion of the Uttar Pradesh Enquiry Committee that it should be possible 
for Government and the experts in insurance to work out some suitable 
scheme for this purpose. 

591. Gratuity.— With regard to gratuity, the Indian Languages News- 
papers’ Association have suggested that when an employee leaves the paper 
after a service of between 3 to 10 years, he should get gratuity equal to 
one-fourth of the monthly pay last drawn multiplied by the number of years 
of service. For those who have served between 11 and 20 years, the gratuity 
should be one-third of the monthly pay last drawn multiplied by the number 
of years of service and for those who have put in 20 years of service, the 
gratuity should consist of half the monthly pay last drawn multiplied by the 
number of years of service. The Bombay Labour Tribunal have 
in one case prepared a scheme under which for those who have 
put in 10 or more years of service, the gratuity should be one month’s 
pay last drawn multiplied by the number of years of service; for those wha 
have put in 9 years of service, the gratuity should be 7 months’ salary; for 


those who have put in 8 years of service, the gratuity should be 5 months’ 
salary; for those who have put in 5 years of service, the gratuity should be 
4 months’ salary and for those who have put in less than 5 years of service, 
the gratuity should be equivalent to 3 months’ salary. We think that on 
the termination of service by retirement or for other reasons, gratuity should 
be paid on the basis of 15 days’ pay for every year of service or any part 
thereof in excess of six months’ calculated on the average emoluments 
during the last year of service. Gratuity shall be payable in all cases except 
where the termination of service is due to misconduct. We think that there 
should be uniformity in these matters of retirement benefits in all regions 
and in respect of all cases of papers. In case of death or of premature 
retirement for reasons other than misconduct, whatever the employee is 
-entitled to should be paid to him, or his legal representative. 

592. Provision for a legitimate part of expenses. — Provision should be 
made annually in every balance-sheet for gratuity and other purposes, and 
it should form a legitimate part of the expenses of the concern. The money 
30 set apart should always be invested in approved securities. 

SECTION XIV 

Trade Unions 

59:y Differences of opinion among professional bodies. — There has been 
,a cleavage of opinion as to the propriety or otherwise of working journalists 
organising themselves on trade union lines. Indeed on some papers and in 
some news agencies an attempt has been made to dissuade working journa- 
lists to form unions or associations. Such an attempt is of course contrary 
to Article 19 of the Constitution. The Indian Federation of Working Journa- 
lists are strong protagonists of the view that they should organise them- 
selves as a trade union. There are a large number of Associations which 
have been registered as trado.^ unions in various States and these Associations 
are affiliated to the All-India body. There are certain number of State 
Associations which have not finally made up their minds. But the tendency 
appears to be to form trade unions and get them affiliated to the All-India 
Federation of Working Journalists. The Southern India Journalists Federa- 
tion represents the other point of view and it has a certain number of District 
Associations affiliated to it. Many journalists who were members of the 
Southern India Journalists Federation informed us during the course of their 
evidence that they had personally no objection to trade unionism among 
journalists and some of them said that they continued to be members of the 
Southern India Journalists Federation in the hope of converting others to 
their own point of view. This body strongly feels that journalism .\s a high 
and noble calling and it would be degrading itself if it descended to the 
level of other industries in which the labour is usually organised on trade 
union lines. The A.I.N.E.C. have not expressed any decided view in their 
reply to Question 64 in Section ‘T’ of our Questionnaire. 

594. Arguments for and against: Our views.— The principal argument in 
favour of this view is that journalism is a creative art, proliciency in 
which is not to be measured by the quantitative output but qualitatively 
by the intellectual excellenee of the performance. Such a profession, of 
essentially brain workers, does not lend itself to be organised as a trade 
union without causing grievous harm to the whole conception of tne proper 
outlook of a true journalist, who considered his calling as a mission mm 
who brought glory to Indian journalism during the course of a century. 
Supporters of this view would rather organise themselves as other learned 


230 


professions like law and medicine in which there is no element of trade 
unionism and which regulate themselves by setting up autonomous profes- 
sional bodies charged with the duty of maintianing high standards of the 
professions. We appreciate this point of view but we see no valid ground 
in it for opposing trade unionism. It is true that in the past the journalists 
were actuated by missionary zeal and, even at considerable monetary sacri- 
fice, they held the torch of Indian journalism high. The emphasis then was,, 
not so much on their own economic advantage as on moral leadership and 
no sacrifice was considered too high to fight for the liberation of the country 
by giving a proper lead to it, which only a powerful Press can do. But 
things have altered now. The conduct of newspapers is no longer a mission 
nor even a profession but has become an industry. The control of news- 
papers having ^one into the hands of persons not always possessing journa- 
listic experience or even background, the bias is, not towards giving an 
intellectual lead, but to making it a financial success. It is true that there 
are some enlightened proprietors who give their editors considerable freedom 
but, so long the proprietory form of ownership continues, it is difficult, even 
with the best of intentions, to dissociate commercial interest when so much 
capital is at stake. One proprietor was brutally frank about it when he 
said that he turned to the newspaper industry because he considered it as 
a possible avenue of making money and acquiring prestige. Where the 
newspapers are, therefore, run as a commercial venture and the proprietors 
are not slow to exploit the situation in order to increase their circulation 
and to make money thereby, quite oblivious of journalistic ethics and the 
good of the people, it is idle to talk of journalism having retained its pris- 
tine glory. Further the analogy of organisations of medical and legal 
professions contains an element of fallacy. These learned professions are 
manned by people who are in every way independent and are their own 
masters. They are not employees. Journalism, on the other hand, is essen- 
tially a calling in which people have to work for employers and earn wages. 
This basic distinction dilferentiates journalism from other learned profes- 
sions. Moreover we have in the course of our evidence come across persis- 
tent complaints, some of them having considerable justification, about deplo- 
rable conditions of service in certain papers. The salaries are low, often 
paid irregularly; recruitment and primotions are made in a haphazard manner; 
working hours and leave rules, where such rules at all exist, are unsatis- 
factory; the amenities provided are inadequate; retirement benefits are almost 
non-existent and above all there is a widespread feeling of insecurity of 
service. We have received innumerable complaints about the manner in 
which services of journalists have been dispensed with, sometimes at the 
sweet will of the manager or the proprietor. In order to bring about a 
betterment in these conditions, it may be necessary that the working journa- 
lists should organise themselves as trade unions under the Indian Trade 
Union Act of 1926 which confers certain rights and imposes certain obliga- 
tions on members under Chapter III of the Act. We see no reason why 
organisation on these lines should interfere with journalistic efficiency or 
affect it adversely. We are, however, of the opinion that though the working 
journalists should organise themselves on trade union lines they .should keep 
themselves aloof from any political bodies or movements in the country. 
The very nature of their calling is such that a development of this type 
would be inconsistent with the objectivity in the matter of reporting or edit- 
ing which is a pre-requisite of every genuine journalist. Those responsible 
bodies who are in favour of development of trade unionism among the work- 
ing journalists made it clear to us in the course of their evidence that they 
were also of the same opinion. 



595. Two kinds of organisations may co-exist. — In view of the number 
of people who sincerely believe in keeping out of trade unionism on the 
score of the special characteristics of their profession, any attempt at “closed 
shop” should be opposed. Even the representatives of the Indian Federation 
of Working Journalists expressed themselves against a closed shop, but 
qualified the statement by saying that that was their present view. They 
said that they were not in favour of compelling every working journalist 
being member of a unioh or of insisting that no person who was not 
a member of the union should be employed. In England there is 
National Union of Journalists organised as a trade union which claims 
membership of about 80 per cent, of the journalists. But there is also the 
Institute of Journalists which is not incorporated as a trade union but whose 
Salaries and Conditions Board, from which employers are excluded, is em- 
powered, on behalf of the Institute as a Certified Trade Union, to negotiate 
and to conclude agreements. Although we ourselves look with favour on 
journalisls organising themselves as a trade union, we do not see why the 
two kinds of organisations should not exist side by side. The proposed 
Industrial Relations Bill, however, contemplates only registered trade unions 
as Industry Bargaining Agent or Recognised Unions for the purposes of 
representation and collective bargaining. 


SECTION XV 
Settlement of Disputes 

596 Disputes under the Industrial Disputes Act involving Working* 

JournaIists.-~We have not been supplied with complete statustics with re- 
gard to the disputes among the employees of newspapers which have arisen 
during the last 4 or 5 years. The Ministry of Labour, Government of 
India, consulted their Director of Labour Bureau, Simla, who compiles 
statistics relating to works stoppages. He has forwarded a statement 
giving statistics of industrial disputes resulting in works stoppages in the 
printing presses in India during 1952 (14) and January to August 1953 (17). 
In the first instance, it is not clear from the statement supplied to us as 
to how many of them relate to newspaper presses and how many to other 
printing presses. Information on the point whether the disputes involved 
editorial staff and whether the State Government concerned ordered adjudi- 
cation in any of those disputes, w’^as also not available from the statement 
supplied. The Bombay Government have furnished us figures from 1948 
to 1952 of some of the disputes in the newspaper industry which were taken 
in conciliation or preferred to adjudication under the Industrial Disputes 
Act of 1947. They were 16 in number. There were 3 disputes during 
these 5 years which involved working journalists. In one case the dispute 
related to a claim for bonus for the editorial staff for 1950-51. Another 
dispute related to alleged wrongful discharge of some member of the 
editorial staff. Both these disputes were sponsored by the Bombay Union 
of Journalists. But both the claims were withdrawn on 22nd February 
1952. The cases were therefore not taken in conciliation and the question 
of jurisdiction was not considered. The third dispute i elated to demand 
regarding pay scales etc. made on behalf of the workers of the ‘Times of 
India’ and the ‘Evening News’ including those in the editorial department 
and the press. As conciliation failed on 10th July, 1951, the dispute was 
referred to adjudication of Mr. Sen, President of the Bombay Industrial 
Court. He gave his award on 10th June, 19555. He has dealt with the 


232 


claims of the editorial department in paragraph 40 of Part II of his award 
published in the Bombay Government Gazette dated July 2, 1953. His 
observations with respect to them are as follows: — 


‘The demands in this department comprise the following categories: 
apprentices, juniors, generals, seniors, selection grade, libarian, 
assistant librarian and assistant. The union has also raised the 
question of the scales of the following: reporters, sub-editors, 
library staff, staff correspondents, selection grade assistant 
editor, news editor and city editor and the selection grades 
applicable to these. The company has submitted that the 
following categories of journalists in this department, not being 
“workmen’\ should be excluded from the scope of these pro- 
ceedings: apprentices, sub-editors, staff; correspondents, re- 
porters, assistant editors, city editor, news editor and sports 
editor. They number 85, 41 of them being in officers' grades 
getting over Rs. 400 per mensem and 15 being members of the 
covenanted staff. The demands made for the editorial staff 
in the Jam-e-Jamshed Press were rejected by the learned 
Tribunal on the ground that they were not covered by the 
definition of workman and were, therefore, beyond the scope 
of the adjudication proceedings. Without prejudice to its con- 
tentions regarding jurisdiction, the company has submitted that 
the existing scales emolument and conditions of service appli- 
cable to the above mentioned categories are very much super- 
ior to those prevailing in the case of any other newspaper in 
Bombay m particular and in India in general. It opposes any 
alteration in the scales of the following categories:— 

Apprentices 
Juniors 
General 
Seniors 

Selection Grade 


Rs. 30a — ’3n'~~“45o 
R.S. ^^O—* -*•^0 " " ~ " 8oo 

R C trr\ 


The Company has further pointed out that the staff correspondents 
stationed at Poona, Sholapur, Gwalior, Delhi and Calcutta 
cannot all bo put on one grade, that their emoluments being 
based on the importance of the stations to which they are 
assigned as well as on their individual abilities. The union 
has asked for a conveyance allowance of Rs. 150 per month 
for reporters of the Times of India and Evening News of India. 

t regard to this demand the company has contended that 
members of the editorial department whose duties call for 
receiving adequate conveyance allowances 
w lie the reporters are entitled to charge the actual convey- 
ance charge.s incurred by them every day according to the 
assignments they have covered during the day. I am not 
satisfied that any case for the revision of these scales of pay 
has been made out, and the demands are rejected”. ^ 


This decision docs not decide the question as to the applicability of the 
Industrial Disputes Act to working journalists. The demand made on their 
behalf was rejected on merits. 



^^I‘*‘^?****‘'?*’*'*‘*^ Factories Act and the Payment of Wages Act to 

e e 1 orial side of newspaper. — The question whether the working journa- 
hsts are governed by the Factories Act, the Payment of Wages Act and the 
industrial Disputes Act has given rise to various decisions of Courts and 
ribunals Under Section 1, sub-section (iv) of the Payment of Wages Act 
IV of 1936 It IS provided that the Act applies in the first instance to the 
payment of wages to persons employed in a factory and to persons em- 
ployed (otherwise than in a factory) upon any railway by a railway admini- 
stration or, either directly or through some sub-contractor, by a person ful- 
a contract with a railway administration. The expression ‘factory’ 
IS defined m Section 2, clause (i) as meaning a factory a.s defined in clause 

^ Act 1934. Section 2 of the Factories Act 

Of 1934 defines ‘^factory” as follows:— 


Factory means any premises including the precincts thereof where- 
in 20 or more workers are working or were working on any 
day of the proceeding 12 months and in any part of which a 
manufacturing process is being carried on with the aid of 
power or is ordinarily so carried on, but does not include a 
mine subject to the operation of the Indian Mines Act 1923”. 


The question, therefore, arises whether the editorial side of a 
also becomes a factory within the meaning of the Factories Act 
of the fact that the editorial side of the newspaper is run in 
ivith the printing press at which tkbe paper is printed. 


newspaper 
by reason 
conjunction 


598. It has been the contention of the Indian Languages Newspancrs As- 
sociation that because the editorial side of a newspaper is situated within 
A 1 the- press, which is undoubtedly a factory under the Factories 

Act ol 1948, even the editorial side becomes a factory. But the view which 
has been taken consistently by the Government of India is that the Factories 
Act does not apply to working journalists. The question of the coverage of 
newspaper establishments umder the Factories Act has been examined bv the 
Ministry of Labour. It was considered that in a newspaper office the “nianu- 
faefuring process” which is the criterion for registration as a factory is the 
process of printing and not the preparation of the daily paper An editor 
or a translator or a news agent is not required for the process of printing 
Certain departments like the editorial department, advertisement department 
and translation department should not. therefore, be registered a.s factories 
The Ministry of Law have concurred in that view. Only such persons in a 
new.spaper estabh.shment as arc dii-eclly connected with tlic printinf process 
will therelore be governed by the Act. The journalists who are mainiy engag- 
ed in the preparation of the paper would excluded from the scope of the 
Act 


599. The definition of a “manufacturing process” which is an essential 
element in the definition of a factory is somewhat different in the Factories 
Act of 1948 from that in the Factories Act of 1934. In the (-earlier Act, the 
manufacturing process meant any process (i) for making, altering, repairing, 
ornamenting, finishing or packing or otherwise treating any artieje or sub- 
stance with a view to its use, sale, transport delivery or disposal or (ii) for 
pumping oil, water or sewage, or (iii) for generating, transforming or 
transmitting power. There is no reference in that definition to any work of 
printing or process of printing. Under the new Act LXIII of 1948 the expres- 
sion ‘manufacturing process’ expressly includes in sub clause (iv) of clause 


234 


(k) of Section 2 “printing by letterpress, lithography, photogravure or other 
similar work or book-binding which is carried on by way of trade or for 
purposes of gain or incidentally to another business so carried on'*. As the 
Payment of Wages Act of 1936 defines ‘factory* in terms of the definition 
of that word in the Factories Act of 1934, a question was raised before the 
.iiigh Court of Bombay in Express Newspapers Limited vs. B. C. Patil and 
another as to whether it was possible to read in the Payment of Wages 
Act the definition of manufacturing process as given in the Factories Act of 
1948 (See Labour Law Journal October 1951). It, was held by Mr. Justice 
Shah that the reference in the Payment of Wages Act to Factories Act of 
1934 should be construed as a reference to the re-enacted Factorie.s Act of 
1948 and thus the Payment of Wages Act did apply to a factory as defined 
in the Factories Act of 1948 even though the establishment did not fall with- 
in the scope of the Act of 1934. Under the Act of 1948, manufacturing process 
undoubtedly includes printing by letter press, lithography, etc. which is 
carried on by way of trade or for purposes of gain. It was further contended 
in that case that the editorial and the news staff was not located within the 
precincts of the printing press and that, therefore, the editorial side could 
not be regarded as a factory within the meaning of the Factories Act. But 
there was a finding of the authority upder the Payment of V/ages Act that 
the reporter concerned was working in the premises within the precincts of 
the factory. This was a finding which was binding upon the High Court and 
it was not possible for the employer to contend that the employee was work- 
ing outside the precincts of the factory. The court, therefore, declined to 
give permission for leading evidence in support of the contention that the 
place where the reporter worked, or was required or accustomed to work 
in the course of his duties as a reporter, was not within the precincts of 
factory, where the printing process of the petitioner was being carried on. 
The finding of the authority under the Payment of Wages Act was, therefore, 
bindin,g upon the High Court and if that finding was accepted, the sub-editor 
concerned had to be regarded as a person employed in a factorj" and was 
therefore entitled to approach the authority under the Payment of Wages 
Act 

600. We have, however, seen a newspaper report (Times of India, Ifth 
April, 1954) of a case which came before the Gwalior Labour Court where 
the Labour Judge had to consider the applicability of the Payment of Wages 
Act in a claim filed by a dismissed sub-editor of ‘Nav Prabhat’ for the recovery 
of his unpaid salary amounting to Rs. 310. In this case also it was contended 
before the Labour Judge that the Payment of Wages Act does not apply be- 
cause there is no manufacturing process carried on, on the editorial side of 
the paper ‘Nav Prabhat’ and the editorial side was, therefore, not a factory 
within the meaning of the Act 1948. The Judge, however, held that the 
teleprinter machine which was operated by electric power constituted 
“manufacturing process because sheets of news reels were constantly manu- 
factured out of this machine and these reels were taken out of this machine, 
and the news printed therein was given a new heading and moulded into a 
new form and took a different shape”. He, therefore, held that manufactur- 
ing process was carried on, on the editorial side of ‘Nav Prabhat* with the 
aid of power. Even assuming that the teleprinter machine did not carry on 
any manufacturing process, the learned Judge held that ‘Nav Prabhat’ office 
came within the second definition of the word ‘factory* because it employed 
20 or more persons and a manufacturing process was carried on without the 
aid of power. In support of this conclusion the learned Judge held that the 
main work of the persons engaged in the office was to collect material for the 



235 

n^nuscript of the paper. “The news and articles received in ‘Nav Prabhat^ 
office either through the teleprinter machine or through any other source was 
a raw material for this factory. Some matter is received through post, some 
through leporters and some through telephone or radio. All this raw material 
was treated and adapted by the editorial staff and a new shape was given to 
:t. The news was moulded or cast in a particular manner, attractive and 
exciting headings were given, suitable headlines were inserted and out of all 
this process a final product, the manuscript of ‘Nav Prabhat’ daily emerged 
and n was this manuscript which was used for printing in the press. Thus 
material m a raw stage was subjected to the process of treating or adapting 
and was finally rendered fit for printing in the press”. Such a change would 
according to the Judge come within the meaning of the term “treating or 
adapting any article or substance with a view to its use” and thus it would 
constitute ‘manufacturing process' as defined in the Act. We are not sure 
imw far this view of the Labour Court would be upheld by higher tribunals 
and courts. Until the matter is finally decided by such courts, it cannot be 
said with certainty that the journalists working on the editorial side of the 
pappi- could be regarded as being governed by the Factories Act or by the 
Payinenl of Wages Act for the reason that (J) the presses where thev worked 
were ‘within the precincts’ of the premises where manufacturing processes 
were carried on (which is a question of fact in each case), (2) the working 
of fhe teleprinter machines constituted manufacturing process, and (3) the 
manner m v^hich the editorial side dealt with the raw material, namely, 
crude news on the teleprinter machines and the reports of the correspondents! 
itself (‘onstituted a manufacturing process. 

fiOi. Applicability of the Industrial Disputes Act to working journalists. — 

I he qiicsticn whether the Industrial Disputes Act of 1947 applied to working 
journalists or not has given rise to some controversy. Under the Industrial 
Disputes Act of 1947 “workman” has been defined as meaning any person 
einpluyed (including an apprentice) in any industry to do any skilled or 
unskilled manual or clerical work for hire or reward and includes for the 
purposes of any proceedings under the Act in relation to an industrial dis- 
pute, a workman discharged during that dispute, but does not include any 
person employed in the naval, military or air service of the Government. An 
attempt has been made to contend in some cases that the work of a sub-editor 
or a reporter is really skilled clerical work and that, therefore, the working 
journalist is governed by the provisions of the Industrial Disputes Act. The 
question came up for consideration before the Industrial Tribunal at Bombay 
in connection with a dispute between ‘Jam-e-Jamshed’ and their workmen. 
It was contended on behalf of the members of the editorial department that 
the members of the editorial staff including the editors, sub-editors and the 
reporters were ‘workmen’ as defined by the Act and would, therefore, be 
covered by the Act. On the other hand, it was contended by the employers 
that the members of the editorial department were not occupied in doing 
work which was mainly skilled clerical work but they did journalistic work 
superior to and distinct from skilled clerical work done by the workmen in 
the press section. The Tribunal relied upon some of the admissions made 
by the Bombay Union of Journalists which seemed to indicate that they 
themselves regarded that the Industrial Disputes Act did not apply to work- 
ing journalist. The learned Judge proceeded to observe as follows: — 

“It will be clear from these two passages that journalists themselves 
admit that the Industrial Disputes Act does not apply to them. 
It is also clear from the constitution of the Bombay Union of 


236 


Journalists and the qualifications for membership thereof that 
the Union of Journalists itself makes a sharp distinction between 
journalists and Press workmen and I am, therefore, satisfied that 
the members of the editorial department including reporters are 
not covered by the definition of the word “workmen” under Sub- 
section 2 of Clause ‘S’ of the Act and that the Act does not 
apply to them. I, therefore, hold that it is not competent for me 
to adjudicate upon this demand”. 

602. The dispute between the Vishwamitra Karyalaya and the employees 
in 1951 related also to the editorial side of the newspaper. Among those whose 
eases were considered by the Tribunal were one editor and six sub-editors. 
The question whether the Industrial Disputes Act applied to the editorial 
stall or not does not appear to have been specifically raised, judging from the 
orders passed by the Industrial Tribunal, Allahabad, and by the Labour 
Appellate Tribunal, Calcutta. We are informed that when the matter was 
taken before the Supreme Court, an argument was advanced that the orders 
■Of the Industrial Tribunal and the Labour Appellate Tribunal dealt with the 
cases of the editorial staff also and to that extent the orders which were 
passed were without jurisdiction. But the judgment of the Supreme Court 
does not indicate that this particular point was urged before their Lordships. 
Tlie Supreme Court judgment only deals with the argument about the validity 
of the award made after the expiry of the time orginally fixed ana subsequent- 
ly extended. The judgment of the Supreme Court in the Vishwamitra case 
therefore does not decide the point one way or the other. 


602. The issue, however, came up for direct decision before the Patna 
High Court in the case of Vinay Narayan Sinha vs. Bihar Journals Limited. 
It was specifically contended on behalf of the Bihar Journals Limited that 
Sri Vinay Narayan Sinha an assistant editor was not a workman within the 
meaning of the Act and the Conciliation Officer had, therefore, no jurisdiction 
to start the proceedings. The argument was that Section 2, Clause ‘S’ which 
defines “workman” to mean any person employed in any industry to do any 
skilled or unskilled manual or clerical work for hire or reward, did not 
include within its ambit the working journalist. Counsel on behalf of 

Vinay Narayan Sinha argued that the duties of Shri Sinha were generally 

to write editorial articles and notes and to read proofs thereof and that the 
articles and notes were subject to the approval of the editor. His work was, 
therefore, of a skilled clerical nature and, consequently he was a workman 
within the meaning of the Industrial Disputes Act. In rejecting his conten- 
tion Mr. Justice Ramaswamy observed as follows: — 

*Tn my opinion the duties assigned to petitioner No. 1 (Sri Sinha) a 
senior assistant editor, are not clerical. In doing his editorial 
work Petitioner No. 1 has to display qualities of initiative and 

independence and it is, I think, too far-fetched to argue that 

the duties of Petitioner No. 1 are of mechanical or routine 
description. I hold that Petitioner No. 1 is not a workman 
within the meaning of the Industrial Disputes Act”. 

The appeal against this judgment of the Patna High Court has been rejected 
by the Supreme Court. As the definition of workman stands in the Act at 
present, working journalists would not be eligible for the benefits accruing 
from the applicability of the Act. 



(j 04. An indirect aLtempl appears to have been made to bring working 

journalists within the scope of the Act by contending that those who are 

admittedly governed by the Act can raise a dispute with regard to those to 
whom the Act is not applicable. Such a contention wms advanced in the 

case of N. K. Sen and others vs. Laboua' Appellate Tribunal of India before 

the Chief Justice and Mr. Justice Shah of the Bombay High Court, (Labour 
Law Journal 1953 page 6). In that case the question was whether the work- 
men of the Ford Motor Company could raise a dispute with regard to pay- 
ment of wages and bonus not to themselves but to other employees of the 
Company such as foremen and divisional heads belonging to the supervisory 
category and such a dispute having been raised whether it was competent to 
the liabour Tribunals to adjudicate upon such a dispute. An industrial dis- 
pute is defined in the Act as any dispute or di (Terence between employers and 
employers or between employers and workmen or between workmen and 
workmen which is connected with the employment or non-employment or 
the terms of employment or with the conditions of labour of any person, and 
the Court had to decide whether a dispute with regard to the terms of employ- 
ment of any person whether he is a workman or not was an industrial dis- 
pute which could be referred to the Tribunal by Government under Section 
10 and which could be adjudicated upon by the Tribunal. The High Court 
held that in order that a controversy between workmen and employers can 
become an industrial dispute two conditions were necessary. There must be 
a dispute and it mvi^t be an industrial dispute. A controversy which is con- 
nected with the employment or non-employment or the terms of employment 
or with the conditions of labour is an industrial controversy. But it is not 
enough that it should be an industrial controversy. It must be a dispute 
and in the opinion of the court it was not every controversy or every differ- 
ence of opinion between workmen and employers which constituted a dispute 

or difl’erence within the meaning of Section 2(k). The Court held that the 

dispute contemplated by that Section was a controversy in which the work- 
man is directly and substantially interested. It must also be a grievance felt 
by the workman which the employer is in a position to remedy. Both the 
conditions must be present, it must be a grievance of the workman himself, 
and it must be a grievance which the employer as an employer is in a 
position to remedy or set right. The learned Cliief Justice proceeded to 
observe as follows: — 

'Tf the workmen have no direct or substantial interest in the eirploy- 
ment or non-employment of a person or in his terms of employ- 
ment or his conditions of labour, then an industrial dispute 
cannot arise with regard to such a person. It is clear that in 
this particular case it cannot be said that the workmen of the^ 

Ford Motor Company are interested in the scales of pay or the 

bonus to be given to divisional heads and foremen. They may 
strongly feel about the rights of these employees, they may have 
strong sympathy for their claims, they may even be r.ppressed by 
a sense of injustice, but these are all considerations foreign to 
the object of ijhe Act. It is only primarily in their own employ- 
ment, in their own terms of employment, in their own conditions 
of labour that workmen are interested and it is with regard to 
these that they are entitled to agitate by means of raising an 
industrial dispute and getting it referred to a Tribunal by Gov- 
ernment under Section 10’\ 

605. It would thus be clear that the working journalists do not come 
within the definition of workman as it stands at present in the Industrial 


238 


Disputes Act. Nor can a question with regard to them be raised by some 
others who are admittedly governed by the Act. 

GOG. Proposal to bring working Journalists within the purview of the 
Industrial Disputes Act. — It has, \herefore, been very strongly urged before 
us that the definition of the word “workman” as it stands at present in the 
Industrial Disputes Act should be amended and if possible brought into line 
with the definition of that word in the Trade Union Act of 192G. The revision 
of the Industrial Disputes Act of 1947 has been in the contemplation of the 
Government of India for some time. Actually, they introduced a Bill called 
the Labour Relations Bill in the budget session of Parliament in 1950. The 
object of the Bill was to enact a comprehensive labour legislation for the 
whole of India and a provision w’'as made for the repeal of the Industrial 
Employment (Standing Order) Act of 1946, the Industrial Disputes Act of 
1947, the Industrial Disputes (Banking and Insurance Companies Act of 1949, 
the Industrial Disputes (Appellate Tribunal) Act of 1950, tind four other 
Industrial Relations Acts which were in operation in Bombay, Uttar Pradesh, 
Madhya Prade.sh and Madras. The Bill was referred to the Select Committee 
and the Select Committee reported towards the end of 1950. The Bill, how- 
ever, could not be proceeded with and lapsed on the dissolution of the Provi- 
sional Parliament. 

607. The Bill was attacked in several directions. One of the serious objec- 
tions was that the procedure contemplated by the Act was too complicated 
and cumbersome. It was also thought that in the Bill greater emphasis was 
placed on adjudication rather than on collective bargaining, which was likely 
to result in the weakening of the trade union organisation. As the new Labour 
IVlinister shared some of these views, the Labour Ministry issued a detailed 
•questionnaire and the replies received were placed before the I2th session 
of the Indian Labour Conference at Nainital. The Conference set up a small 
Committee of 7 members which discussed the problem in December 1952. 
Thereafter a Conference of the Labour Ministers of the Centre and of the 
States was convened with a view to reviewing the results of the Indian 
Labour Conference and of the 7-man Committee and to suggest lines on 
which the Central Government might proceed to frame a new Industrial 
Relations Law. 

608. An examination of the proposed Industrial Relations Law. — In order 
to enable the Commission to have some idea as to what was in the contempla- 
tion of Government with regard to Industrial Relations Bill, we requested 
the Hon’ble Minister for Labour to give us a short note of the lines on 
which it was the intention of the Ministry to frame the new legislation so 
that the Commission could consider how far the provisions contemplated in 
the new Bill could be upefully applied for the amelioration of the grievances 
of working journalists. We are greatly indebted to the Ministry of Labour 
for a very lucid note which gives us an outline of the framework of the 
new legislation. 

609. It is proposed to follow the recommendation of the Planning Com- 
mission that while the endeavour of the State should be to encourage mutual 
settlement, collective bargaining and voluntary arbitration to the utmost 
extent, it is incu(mbent on the State, in view of the economic emergency 
through which the country is passing to arm itself with legal powers to refer 
disputes for settlement by arbitration or adjudi(:ation on failure of efforts to 
reach an agreement by other means. In implementation of this policy it is 
the intention of Government to suggest that the right of referring disputes 
for compulsory adjudication both in public utility services and in non-public 



239 



« 


utility services contained in Section 10 of the Industrial Disputes Act, should 
continue to exist and that any steps taken to give greater impetus to the 
idea of collective bargaining should be without prejudice to the power of the 
appropriate Government as indicated in that Section 

(iiO. With regard to representation of parties, it is proposed that the 
machinery lor representation should be as simple as possible. The law on 
the subject ol representation is capable of becoming quite complex. Collec- 
tive bargaining generally takes place at two levels, namely, at the level of 
the industry in a local area and at the level of the unit. Collective bargain- 
ing at these levels must be facilitated and actively encouraged. It is, there- 
fore, proposed to have two types of representative unions, one for collective 
bargaining on the level of the industry called the “industry bargaining agent” 
and the other on the level of the unit called the ‘recognised union’. A regis- 
tered trade union or a registered federation of trade unions of workers in 
an industr/ in a local area would be eligible for certification as the industry 
bargaining agent for that industry in that local area if the union or the fede- 
ration represents (1) not less than 25 per cent, of the workers of all the 
establishments in that industry in that local area and (2) noK less than 10 
per cent. o( the workers in eacli of not less than 75 per cent, of Ihe units of 
that industry in that area. If two or more unions or federations fulfil these 
conditions, the one representing the largest total membership should be 
entitled to certification. A registered trade union with a membership of not 
less than 15 per cent, of the workers of an establishment would be eligible 
for certification as the 'recognised union’ of that establishment. Where two 
or more unions so qualify, the one with the largest membership alone will 
1)6 entitled to c ertiticalion as the recognised union in preference vo all others. 
The recognised union would be entitled to bargain collectively with the em- 
ployer on behalf of all the workers of the unit. Where there is no recognis- 
ed urron attached to a unit, it will be open to the workers of the establish- 
ment as a whole to elect in the prescribed manner a fixed number, say, 5 
of their representatives to represent the workers in their negotiations with 
the employer. The.^e representatives will have all the rights and privileges 
of the recognised union. Such representatives will continue to function for 
a period of one year alter which there will be fresh election. 

611. Where an industry bargaining agent and a recognised union co-exist, 
their respective responsibility will be defined. The industry bargaining agent 
would be concerned with matters of general application to more than one 
unit of ihe industry in that area such as wages, dearness allowance, bonus, 
leave, nornrs, etc. The recognised union will, on the other hand, be concern- 
ed with disputes relating to the grievances of individual employees of the unit 
and also with matters of sole concern to their particular unit. Both the 
industry bargaining agent and the recognised union would be accorded spe- 
cific rights an 1 privileges such as those contained in Clause 35 of the Trade 
Union Bill of 1950 as amended by the Select Committee. 

612. It is also proposed to have provisions which will enable employers 
also to form .such associations and for getting them certified as the represen- 
tatives of Ihe employers in that indu.stry in that area provided the association 
represents not less than 75 per cent, of the interests in that industry in that 
area. 

613. Where no union or group of elected workers is entitled to act on 
behalf of the worker.s, provisions will be necessary to enable the ad hoc 
representation of workers in proceedings under the Act. A provision will 
also be made for certain office bearers of registered unions to act on behalf 
of ail the members of the union. 


240 


(jI4. Certirication of 'industry bargaining agents’ and ‘registered unions’" 
would bo entruste'l to the industrial tribunals. 

015. With regard to the procedure for settlement of disputes, it is proposed 
that if a party wants a change in the status quo, it should serve a notice of 
change on the opposite party. A change in the status quo is a very vague 
expression and it is proposed to define precisely the matters in respect of 
which notice of change must be given. As there will be elaborate provisions 
regarding standing orders, their periodictal change, their interpretation and 
application the matters which will require a notice of change would be those 
arising otherwise than undei the standing orders. It is, therefore, suggested 
that a notice of change should be required to be given in respect of such 
matters as are contained in the Third Schedule to the Labour Relations Bill 
as amended by the Selec t Committee viz., wages, compensatory and other 
allowances, hours of work, leave with pay, classification of grades, customary 
privileges, etc. With regard to other matters for which notice of change is 
not required to be given and a change has been brought about which is not 
acceptable to the other side, there is again a dispute for which one party may 
serve a notice and the other party is required to enter into negotiations with 
regard to it. ^ 


(llfi. Where a party has served a notice of change or a notice to negotiate, 
the parties will be expected to enter into mutual negotiations. A period o 
:10 days will be prescribed which may be extended by mutual agreement, 
is during this period that the Conciliation Officer’s services will be found to 
be most efTective. The Conciliation Officer will not keep an official record 
or .submit a formal report because it is the experience of the Ministry that, 
under these circumstances parties are reluctant to reveal their cards or to 
make concessions lest they may be used against them. 


617. If the matter is settled by mutual negotiations, the dispute ends. 
But where the.se negotiations, with or without the assistance of the Concilia- 
tion Officer, do pot lead to a settlement, a Conciliation Board will be appoint- 
ed in the case of collective disputes i.e., those not pertaining to the grievances 
of individual emplo.vees. Each party would nominate one or two members 
of its choice and both the parties would make an agreement between them- 
selves to nominate a Chairman to form the Conciliation Board. Government 
will prepare and revise every year a panel of persons considered fit to be 
appointed as Chairman of the Conciliation Board. But the parties will not 
be required to restrict their choice to the panel. If the parties do not agree 
upon a Chairman, the Conciliation Officer will nominate a person from among 
t'ne panel. If one of the parties refuses to nominate its members or to nego- 
tiate for the choice of a Chairman or otherwise declines to participate bona 
fide in the conciliation proceedings before the Board, the other party would 
have a right to apply to the Conciliation Officer who will first try to persuade 
the defaulter to do his duty. If the Conciliation Officer fails in his eftorts, 
he would give a certifu ate to the co-operating party. If the co-operating 
party produces such a certificate and asks for compulsory adjudication, adju- 
dication would automatically be ordered by the appropriate Government irres- 
pective of whether the industry is a public utility service or a non-public 
utility service. That will be the reward lor co-operation and the penalty for 
ri on -c o-oper a t : o n 

618 At this or any earlier stage, the parties would of course be at liberty 
to submit them dispute to voluntary arbitration. There will be panels of 
arbitrators prepared and revised every year by Government. This will, 
however, not preclude the parties to make an arbitrator of their own choice. 
The decision in arbitration will be final and binding on the parties. 


4 


(ill:). When the Conciliation Board has im ported failure, or in cases in 
wiiich such a Board does not have to be sei up attej' mutual negotiations 
have been exhausted, thu stage would be set for a decision whether the 
dispute should be referred to cornpuisoix atijudicat ion oi’ not. If the 
dispute is one in a j^ublic utility service, the appropriate Go\’ernment 
Vv'oidd, iink'ss it considers that ihe la.a.u • lui-^ bve?’ invo'ously or vexatiously 
yi\a‘U nr that it would be inexpedient so to do. make a reference of the dis- 
puio to a 'i’ribunal. If the dispute is one in a non-public utility service, the 
appropriaU' (iovernment will exercise its riis«sretion wholher. or noi to refer 
it I’or adjudication to a 'rnliuna! bearing ip mind tiie u('ed to give the fitl'est 
jsossibie encouragement lor collective bargaining mi-d muluai settlement of 
^iispules and conseciuentJy to reduce the number of (saupi’lsory adjudications. 

620. Tile proposi'd legislation will be of an Ali-lndia character but it 
a Slate Government wishes to enact supplemeutary legislation, there will 
be no ofijeetion to such a course so long as the State legislation is not 
ineonsistent with or does not have the c'fTect of superseding Central 
]('gisiatio.n. Under Clause 2(2) of the Labour Belations hVill as amended 
hy the Select CommUtee the Central Government is the appropriate 
Government in relation to labour disputes in any of tlic following estaVj- 
‘ ishmeuls. namely, 

(i) railvva\'s, 

(ji) major ports, 

(iii; an\ roj-m of inland or coastal transport which maintains 
c./tablisliments and connected services in more than one 
Slate, 

(iv) mines, 

fv) oilfields. 

(vi) industries, tVie control of which by the Union has been 

declared by Parliammit by law^ to be expedient in the public 
interest and which are notilied in this behalf by the Central 
Government in the Official Gazette. 

(vii) banking companies having brandies in more than one State, 

(viii) insurance companies having branches in more than one State, 

(ix) such corporations established by the authority of the Central 
Government as ai'c notified in tins behalf by that Govern- 
ment in the OfTieial Gazette, 

(,x) establishments carried on by or under tlie authority of the 
Central Government or in which not less than fifty per cent, 
of the total capital is provided by that Government, 

(xi) any other establishment oi* class of establishments, tlie objects 
or activities of which are not confined to one State and 
which, in consultation \\dth the State Governments concern- 
ed, is notified in this behalf by the Central Government in 
the Official Gazette. 

The State Government is the appropriate Government in relation to 
labour disputes in any other establishment. The Ministry of Labour 
-desire to havx^, in the Central sphere, disputes relating to — 

18 M of 1. & B. 



242 


(a) such corporations established by an Act of Parliament as are- 
notified in this behalf by the Central Government, and 

fb) such establishments in w^hich not less than 50 per cent, of the 
total capital is provided by the Central Government as are 
notified in this behalf by that Government. 

They do not want any other addition to the Central responsibility. ^ 

621. “Industrial dispute” in the Industrial Disputes Act has been, 
defined as any dispute or dilVerence between emnloyers and employers or 
between employers and workmen or between workmen and workmen, which 
is connected with tiie employment or non-cmploymerit or the terms of 
emplo>munt or with the conditions of labour of any person. It has been, 
held that under the Industrial Disputes Act, a dispute which has arisen, 
out of the grievances of an individual worker does not amount to an. 
industrial dispute unless it is rai.sed a trade union or a substantial 
number of workers. In other words, the law does not provide a remedy 
in respect of individual disputes except where they are likely to lead to- 
strife between labour and management. Under the Labour Relations Bill, 
the definition of “labour dispute” would have included a dispute raised 
by even one of the employees with regard to his grievance. As such a. 
provision would lead to an unmanageably large number of individual 

disputes which are at present excluded from the machinery of the indus- 
trial relations law, the Labour Ministry suggest that the law should make 
it clear that the grievances of individuals will not be deemed to be 
industrial disputes unless they are raised by an industry bargaining agent 
or a recognised union, or, in the absence of both, by the representatives of 
the employees elected in the prescribed manner. Individuals will no doubt 
be entitled to seek redress under the standing orders. 

622. As it is proposed to repeal the Industrial Employment (Standing 

Orders) Act of 1946, it is necessary to make a provision in the Industrial 
Relations law for the framing of Standing Orders. Undei- the Act of 
1946, the certifying officer has to see that provision has been made therein 
for every matter included in the Schedule to that Act, such as, classi- 
licatioii of workmen, the manner of intimating to workmen periods and 
hours of work, paid holidays, shifts, procedure for applying for leave, 
entrance to premises by certain gates, closing and reopening sections of 
the industrial establishment, termination of employment and notice 
thereof by the employer to the workmen, suspension or dismissal for 

misconduct, means of redress for workmen against unfair treatment by 

the employer etc. It is not the duty of the certifying officer to adjudicate 
upon the fairness or reasonableness of the provisions of the standing # 
orders. Clauses 18 and 19 of the Labour Relations Bill made provisions 
for giving power to the certifying officer to give his opinion on the fairness 
or otherwise of the standing orders and also provided for an appeal to 
the Tribunal. It is also intended to give power to workers to ask for an 
amendment of the standing orders just as provision exists at present 
authorising the employer to take steps to modify the standing orders. It 
is al.so proposea to lay down that disputes with regard to the application 
and interpretation of standing orders should be taken directly before the 
Iribunai without the intervention of Government. In view of the elabo- 
rale provisions laid down in the standing orders it would be necessary to 
provide that matters which are capable of being dealt with in accordance 



with those provisions siiould not otherwise be raised as industrial disputes 
and sent lor adjudication. Model standing orders would be prepared and 
included within the new law. 

623. The Industrial Dispute.^ Act enumerates in clause (n) of Section 2 
what public utility service means. Sub-clause (22) of Clause 2 of the 
Labour Relations Bill as approved by the Stdeot Committee give^ a more 
elaborate list of public utility services. I he Planning Commission 
suggested that the power given in the Labour Relations Bill in sub-clause 
(j) of clause (22) of Section 2 to the appropriate Govei-nment to declare 
an\' other industry or establishment to be a public utility service should 
be removed and that Banks should be added to the list. The I.abour 
Ministry recommend that the suggestions of the Planning Commission be 
accepted. 

624. There will be only four authorities under the new law: (1) Works 
Committees or the Joint Committees; (2) Conciliation (Officers; (3) 
Boards of Conciliation; and (4) Industrial Tribunals or Courts of Arbitra- 
tion. 

625. The Labour Ministry also suggest, following the view of most of 
the State Governments, that strikes and lockouts should be prohibited 
during the period of notice, negotiation, conciliation, arbitration and 
adjudication, whether the dispute be in a public* utility service or in a 
non-publif' utility service and also during the period ol operation of settle- 
ments, collective agreements and awards if the slrike or lockout i elated to 
any of the matters (“overed by the settlement etc. It is not, however, r>ro- 
posed to ban strike during emergencies. The:^e emergencies couid be tackled 
as they arise. In any case when a dispute is referred for adjudication, strikes 
and lockouts will automatically liccomc illegal and that would be suihcient 
for dealing witii most (jf the (‘mergcncie.s. 

626. As Vias been stated earlier, cases of dismiss 1 1 will not be treated 
as industrial disputes unless they are raised by the industry bargaining 
agent, a recognised union or the elected representatives of worker.s. 

627. With regard to the question of re-instatemenl or cornixaisation In 
the case of wrongful dismissal, it has been held by the Federal Court in 
the Western India Automobile Association vs. the Industrial Tribunal 
Bombay (LI, Bombay Law Reporter, page 894) that tlie question of re- 
instatement of a dismissed servant could be a subjecl matter of industrial 
dispute Within the meaning of Section 2(k) of the Industrial Disputes 
Ac!. Because of the conflicting view*s on the subject, it is proposed tiiat 
the Tribunal should have a discretion either to order re-insiaternent or 
payment of compensation or both. That was the view* which was 
accepted by the Select Committee on the Labour Relations Bill and it 
is proposed to embody this in the proposed legislation. It is also pro- 
posed, following the principle enunciated in tlio Labour Relations Bill, 
that W'hen an employer proposes to introduce a scheme of rationalisation, 
standardisation or improvement of plant or technique which is likeh* to 
lead to retrenchment, he must give notice to the appropriate Government 
wdnch may refer the matter for adjudication to a Tribunal. In other 
cases of retrenchment, there will be no such obligation. The piavisums 
in the Labour Relations Bill also contemplate the giving of one month’s 
notice and payment of gratuity at the rate of not less than 15 days 
average pay for every completed year of service. It is proposed to 
embody these provvsions in the new law as they have been arrived at 


211 


iii'ter a very careful consideration by Government and the Select Com- 
mittee. Wlierever there is an agreement betvvec'n the employer and the 
repri'sinlatives of the employees in any establishment in respect of any 
,,Hks.r- of rationalisatiom it should not be neci^ssary lor the cannloyer to 
make an application for reference of the matter to a Tribunal. 

(j2o. With leyaid to the modification or rejection of awards, the 


Gov em- 


it was felt 


fnduslria! Disputes Ac t of lt)47 sdves vei-y la-sti ieteO ixuvms tu Govern- 
ment. Tia-^v are conaned to eases to which Goxernmenl is a parly mat the 

power's ait> limited to plaeiny tlie awards topiUher with a statement of 

.pe rcasoiv^ for' not deeiariOL^ it hindiny l)elore the api)rupriatc lepisiature. 
ct aas left to th(' leeisiatnre to confirm, modify or reject tlicni. Later on 

,t \vas felt that Govm-nment shouid nave more* powers and consequenlly 

a i.)rovision as providixi in sub-section (1) of Section 15 of the Industriai 
Disputes (Appellalc TribimaD Act of 1950 was enacted iinder winch the 
appropriate Governmcait wa. empowered to rcjiad or modify' an award 

twen in disputes to whicii it was not a party, the only limitation being 
that such action was to 1 h' reported to the legislat ni'e at tlie first avail- 

able opiiortunity. ddic Street (Awnmitlce on tlie kuihom Relations Ihll 
felt that the Goviumment slionld not ha\'e the i-ieJd. t-i mterlerc' with the 
awards iironoimced by the Tribnnais and Hial the magmai provisum m 
the Industrial Drpiites Act of 1947 should be restored. The Select 
Committee rcst'ucted the powers of Government to intervene only to 
awards to which it was a party. Government is required to submit the 
award to the legisiafnre and to move a resolution for tlie consideration of 
1h(^ award. 11 is foi' the legislature to deeidm wliether tlie award should 
be eonfirmed.. modified or reflected. 4 he Planning (.ommission had laid 
down in tlie Five-Y('ar Plan tiiat the power of the Government should 

he restricted to period.^ of emergeney. The Laboui’ klinistry pi opose to 

incorporate these pro\dsions m the new law. 

()29. Witli regard to alteration of conditions of service during procced- 
mgs^under tlie Act. Section 33 of the Industrial Disputes Act of 1947 
provided that "no employi'r sliall during Ifie pendency of any conciliation 
proceedings befoie a Tiabunal in resgK'ct of any industri<al di.^ipute. alter 

to the prejudice of the workmen eonccin.ed in such dispute, the conditions 
of service’ applicable to them immediately before the commencement of 
such proceedings nor, save with the express permission in writing of the 
Conciliation Ofticer, Board or Tribunal, as the case may be, shall he, 

during the pendency' of such proceedings, discharge, dismiss or otherwise 

punish any such workman except for misconduct not connected ivitfi the 
dispvte:' This section did not place any restriction on tlie right 

of the employer to discharge, dismiss or otherwise punish a workman con- 
cerned in the proceedings for misconduct not connected with the dispute 
constituting the subject matter of the proceedings. There were com- 
plaints that certain employ'ers had taken advantage of that provision to 
victimize active trade union leaders under the plea that the action was 
taken for misconduct not connected with the dispute. As allegations of 
victimisation u'ere made on a fairly large scale, an amendment was made 
in the year 1950 and the Section, as it stands at present, reads as follows: — 

'‘During the pendency of any conciliation proceedings or proceed- 
ings before a Tribunal in respect of any industrial dispute, 
no employer shall — 

(a) alter, to the prejudice of the workmen concerned in such 
a dispute, the conditions of service applicable to them 



iniinedjateiy bt-fore thf' conniienccineni ol: siuii pro- 
ceedings; 

(b) di'seViarsa* or punish wViellu.'r by dismissal or oilicrvvise, 
any workman concerned m sucii dispide save willi the 
express yjcrmission m writing oi liie Conciliation Oilicer, 
Bt)aid or Tribunai as the ease may be/’ 

Employers have complained that, on account of th.e arnendetl piovision 
they have been unalile to get rid even ot employees guilt}’ of gross mis- 
conduct oi‘ indiM'iptine tor a long lime after tlie commission ot the 
offence. The permission to dis(‘harg(‘ could not he (;btained in some cases 
for ti to 9 itU)nths. All employers’ organisations liave. tlicn'etore, asked tor 
remo\al ot llie restrictions that now so hamper tlieir activities. The 
Ministr\' feels that reasonable relief s.hould lie alTordC'] to the employer 
without, at the same time, ('xposing workers to vindictive punishment at 
the hands ot unscrupulous employers. It is, theref(.re, proposed that the 
employer should not during the pendency of any conciliation proceedings 
or proceedings lieltsre a Court of Arthlratioii or Tribunal alter, to t/ie 
prejudice of the workers concerned in the dispute, the conditions of 

service applicable 1o them. With regard to the dismissal ot employees, 
it is felt that protection should be given to important olTice bearers of liie 
union who would in thc‘ ordinary' circumstances lae the main target of: 

attacks. It is, therefore, suggested that tlie President, the 'Vice-President, 
the Secreiaiyv, the seniormost Assistant hi the Seci'etary' and the Trea- 
surer of the union .should not be liansferred. dismiss(‘d, discliarged, 
suspended or in any way punished without the cxina ss iv..'; nnssion in 

writing of the Conciliation Oflicer, Board, Court or Ti'ihunal. li such an 
order is passed, it would be liabk' to cancellation without going into the 
merits of the decision. Whore formal application is made for such dis- 
missal, the authoi'ity conc-erned w'ould grant pc.wmission on’y where the 

action proposed to lie taken is justifiable on meuits. In llu' east- ol other 
workers, it is suggested that the employer sliould give one montITs wages 
to the worker wdiieh might be said to be in lie u ol tlic notice and ask 
him not to attend. There wdlJ be no forma! suspension of the w'orker. 
The ernjiloyer will simultaneously file an application before tlie autliorlty 
concerned seeking permission to dismiss, discharge or r^'move the worker. 
Priority' would be given to the disposal of such applicatiorus. If the 
authorit,y gives permission eventually', the emplo.ver will have no further 
liability. If, on the other hand, such permission is refused, the employer 
wsill be required to take back the w'orker on payment of wages for all 
the back period after making an allowance for one month’s w'ages already 
paid. 


630. With regard to the implementation of the agreemmits, settlements 
and awards, it is suggested that just as civil courts execute decrees, tlie 
Industrial Tribunals should be authorised to entertain applicalion.s for 
recovery of money due under set.tlernents, agreements or awards and to 
pass orders on objections to such recovery, to compute the money value 
of benefits and to issue ceiiiticates of claims to the Collector for recovery 
as arrears of land revenue and to disburse payments to liie claimants. 
In order to penalise recalcitrant employers, it is proposed to make a 
provision that if the amounts due under the agreements, settlements of 
aw'ards are not paid on the due dates, the employees will be entitled to 


24G 


such rale of interest as may be iiotitkd by the appropriate Government, 
il ,iiav cMi! I’O provided that ali expense.s mnirred by a worker or ins 
oreanisaiion m recovery proceedings should be recoverable under the 
ccrl ilictit (' (.)! tht' liukistrial I ribuiiaL 


ti:U. Finally, clau-ses J15 and 120 of the Labour Relations Bill provide 
loj' the exercise by the appropriatt' Government of control over indus- 
Irial undertakinus with a view to enforeini; implementation of scttle- 
.menb., eollc'cnve aiu-eements and awards. There have been some 
iiislanees of e!nplo\'e.rs wlio, taced with the demand for the implemen- 
tation of an aej'eemeiit, si.ttiement or awards involving payment of large 
;wim;., ha\e pi'eferred to close down their establishments. In some of 
liiese eases, llu' w'orivers iia\'e t'omplamed that the object ot the eniplover 
has been lo toeree workers into foregoing the benefits to which they are 
ero iiie'i a;- an a!tr'i riatr\ e to unemployment. It was suggested that 
Go' esM' ! !(M>i siirarld assume uov:ov to exer('iso control over recalcitrant 
und- 1 la. nics. Fmpkwaas’ ca'gan isations hax'c opposrci sucli a move and 
,ha\t indicat'd tliat some provision exists alrcaidy in the Industries 
(Dew'lonnu ill and Regulation ) Act of 1951. The Planning Commission 
ha\e staled m the Five-Year Flan that “if direction and control of an 
establ isl iment l)<.'eom(rb necessaix tor obstawaiiee oi awards and decisions 
of 'rribunaks they may he exvrcised under special legislation to be 
undertaken for the .vegulation of iiuin.-tries.” It is the view of the Labour 
Mmisti'y that legislatixa' sanctions are necessary and lliat the pi’oper 
plac'c to include tliem would be m the Industrial Relations la we A 
ditheu!t\' lias been (‘reated in the way of such legislation by the decision 
of the Supreme Coirrl m the ease of Shoiapur Spinning and Weaving 
Company and an amendnu'nl ot Constitution may be necessar}'. 


ii:>2 Proposed legislation generally suitable for newspaper employees. — 

We ha\’e carefully considered the provisions of the proposed Bill and, 
with respect, we ai‘e of the view that the proposed scheme is an admir- 
able one and should provide a suitaV)le machinc'ry for resolving of disputes 
betw'c'en the employers and the employees in the newspaper industry. 
We, therefore, lecommend that the definition of the ■wa)rd “employee’’ in 
the proposed legislation should be wide enough to include within its 
purview working journalists as w;el] as employc^es on the managerial 
side, (jr u prevision may be insc'rted in llie proposed Newspapers and 
Peidodicals Act making the ruwv industrial relations legislation applicable 
to newspaper employees. 


()52, Thi'i'e are. howxw^er, two or three suggestions wiiich w^e wmuld 
like to make m this connection. Although the kiiiustry of Labour is 
unwilling to extend the sphere of Central Government activity, we think 
that the new'spaper industry is one w'hich should come within the administra- 
tive control of the Central Government. In other wa>rds, the Central Govern- 
ment should be the ‘appropriate Government’ with regard to the news- 
paper industry. As in the case of Banks and Insurance C'ompanies, the 
employees of some of the bigger concerns are scattered all over India 
and this is particularly so in the case of news agencies. As there should 
be some kind of uniformity among the conditions of service of different 
employees wmrking under the same employer, it is desirable that any 
action that is required to be taken should be taken by the Central 
Government wdth the result that any aw^ard made or settlement arrived 
at may be applicable to the employees all over India. The difficulty of 
the type that arose in the recent case of Press Trust of India employees, 
wdll not arise in that case. 



634. We would also suggest that, if possible some of the Coneiliation 
Ofhcers should be persons having jourjjaiistie experience. We liave 
noted that tlie business of the Conciliatu ii OlTicers would be to briug 
together the employers and the eniploy»'« s and assist in the settlement of 
their disputes. For this purpose it is ia>t essential to liave Conciliation 
Ofiicers with journalistic experience; but we tliink it would bc' a drstinct 
advantage li some of the Coneiliation OlTicers. at lea.-d have tliat experi- 
ence. The\- could, in that case, be deputed to assist at ilie lenticular 
place where a dispute m IIk newspaper indu.-ti'.v has arisen. 

) No conflic t between Pre ss Counqil and Siuiui^ri d KeimioMS 
machinery regarding working jminiaiists. — Uncter tis.- sclusn.-' ihai Vv'e 

have envisagtal. tlu* la-ess Counch v/ill Vie the bodv^ that wi!! determine 
the lapse, ii any, on tlie part (.*1 journalists trorn proh'ssional standards. 
Thai would be the body which will arinnmster the code of ethics, and 
giva* its ruling w hevn anv- newspaper oj- cui>' partieiilar journalist has been 
accused ol unprofc'ssional condurt. Having entinsted tlic professional 
side of the nevsspaper industry to the care of the Press Council, wc think 
that trie economic- side of Ihc' nc'wspaper, in so fai' as .it atfects the condi- 
tions of working journalists, shoidd be regulated by the pi-oc-edure 
envisaged under the proposed U^gislation. Most of the matters could be 
.sc'tlk'd by the standing ordcM's or b.v collective bargaining and ultimately 
bv' arbitration or adjudication. It is eoneeivabie tliat in some cases an 
jndusti-ia! dispute may also have invol\-ed pronouncement by the Press 
■Council on the proprielv* oi' otherwhse of prolessional conduct. It is not 
unlikely that the working journalist may be guilty of unprofessionai 

conduct or grave jouriialistic lapse and this may liav'C led to his dismis- 
sal. The dispute, if any, so far as dismissal is eoncerneck may in certain 
circumstances come up for conciliation, settlement or adjudication. Any 
expression of opinion by the Press Council is not likt'ly to embarrass the 
Industrial Court, whicdi will consist of persons with liigh judicial experi- 
ence, in giving its decision. An exprtv:sion of opinion by a body of the 
type of the Press Council presided over by a High Court Judge on a 
point of professional ethics is bound to be treated writh respc'ct by the 
Tribunal and we do not see that normally any case will arise where the 
Industrial Court may find itself embarrassed by the expj-ession of opinion 
by the Press Council. Indeed any such opinion would be of great assis- 
1ance to the Industrial Court in coming to its conclusion as to the pro- 
priety or otherwise of the dismissal arising out oi unpioiessional or 
u n .i o u r n a 1 i s t i c* c o n d u c t . 

636. Proposed legislation should embody certain of our recommenda- 
tions. — We suggest that the proposed legislation for the regulation of 
newspaper industry shouKi embody our rceornmendations with iV'gard to 
(1) notice period; (2i bonus; (3) minimum w'age.-g 14) vSunday rest: (5) 
leave, and (6) provident fund and gratuitve Matter;: regarding classi- 
tication of employees, hours of work, shift working, closing and reopen- 
ing of certain sections and suspension or dismissal for misconduct would 
be dealt with under standing order.s when the new legislation eomes into 
force. 

637. Recommendation should apply to the employees of news agencies. — 

Our- recommendations whth regard to working Jouriialisfs vniployed in 
newspapers should apply 'iTiututls rnutcouhs to tlie emplovaH's of new's 
agencies also. 



CHAPTER XIII 


ASSOCIATIONS OF NEWSPAPERMEN 


().3o. If) the sertioM on Mistory of Journalism, we have dealt willi the origin, 
growth and deveiopinent of Hie warious newsijaper assoeialioris and organisa- 
tions of journalists. The Aiemoranda and Articles of Associations of these 
organisations are ]ei)roduced in lull in Ai)pcndix XXXIX. We shall review 
Iiere only tht' memliership and rejiresentative ciiaractcr of the imijortant 
organisations of editoiss and working journalists as well as of newspapers. 


Got). The All-India New.spaper Editors’ Conference.—rAt present, the 
total membership of the A.I.N.E.C. is 188 out of whicli 85 are dailies and 
103 weeklies and other periodicals. Out of the dailies, 29 are English 
newspapers and 56 are new'spapers in Indian languages; among the 
periodicals, 38 are in English and 65 in Indian iangauges. 


(MO. The Indian Federation of Working Journalists. — At present, there 
are 22 units affiliated to the Federation. The Federation claims a mern- 
bership of over .1,500 chstributcd as under: — 


1. Delhi . . . . 273 

2. Calcutta . . . . 181 

3. Bombay City .. ..162 

4. Travancore-Cochm , . . . .135 

5. Bihar . . . . 152 

6. Uttar Pradesh . . . . 307 

7. Madhya Pradesh . . . . 55 

8. Madhya Bharat . . . . 28 

9. Pepsu . . . . 36 

10. Saurashtra . . . . 30 

1 1 . Orissa . . , , GG 

1 2. Maharashtra . , , , 17 

13. Rajasthan _ ]9 

14. Hyderabad _ . . 48 

1 5. Kashmir _ _ 7 

16. .Bhopal _ _ JG 

17. Vindhya Pradesh * 

18. Gujarat ♦ 


Formed recently; iist.s not submitted. 



249 


641. The Southern India Journalists* Federation. — The total number 

ship of the Federation is about 450. Seven District Journalists’ Associa-* 
lions are affiliated to the Southern India Journalists’ Fedeialion. Each 
of these units is collectively repiesented on the executive of the Federa- 
tion by one member provided it has got a membership of more lium 10 
members. The membership of the sexen District associations is as 
follows: — 


South Ai’cot 
Coimbatore 
T a n j ore 
Tirunelveli 


12 

12 


17 


Tiruchirapalli 

Kurnool 


15 

10 


South Kanara 


13 


* Figures not available. 


1)42. The Indian and Eastern Ncwspaiicr Society. At present there are 
about 80 members of tlie Society of which 60 are dailies and the remain- 
ing are weeklies and other periodicals. Among the dailies, 25 are English 
newspapers and 35 arc Indian language newspapers. 

641. The Indian Languages Newspapers’ Association. — About 80 news- 
papers and periodicals are members of the Association. (Apart from 
this, the Indian Newspapers Co-operative Society Ltd., with over 200 
members is also a member of the Assocaation. Tlie Association has 
claimed a membership of about 240, including the shareliolders of the 
Society, w'ho do not pay any annual suliscription, and acv only through 
the Society). The clTective strength of the Association is only about 80 
that is confined to the newspapers and pieriodicals whicli are direct 
members of the Association. 


644. General. — It would be seen that the All-India Newspaper Editor’s 
Conference, Indian & Eastern Newvspapers Society and Indian Languages 
Newspapers’ Association are the organisations of the newspapers. The 
A.I.N.E.C. is primarily'^ concerned with the editorial side of the news- 
papers w^hiJe the other two are concerned with ilie business aspects of 
the newspaper industry. In all three organisations, the members are the 
newspapers themselves and not individuals. Many of tlie mernbefs are 
common to the two organisation.s A.I.N.E.C. and I.E.N.S. as can be seen 
from the followsing analysis: — 


T’ABLH I 


! No. of newspapers which 
arc members of A I NFC cS: 
; IBNS 


No, of news- I fL). of news 
papers which papers which 
arc members ' are members 
onlv of AINHC ■ onlv of 
' IFNS 


Dailies 

Periodicals 


47 

10 


38 

93 


13 

TO 


250 


It will bo seen that among the dailies, a majority are members of both 
the organisations wliereas among the weeklies and other periodicals, the 
'membership is mostly confined to A.I.N.E.C. This indicates that the 
weeklies and periodicals feel the necessity for organising more in respect 
of editorial matters than business matters. There have been certain 
occasions on which A.I.N.E.C. and I.E.N.S. took joint action as, for 
example, on the question of fixation of minimum w'ages for journalists, 
and reeoniriKvndalions were made to tlieir members, though these recom- 
mendations were not mandatory. These two organisations also made 
common represenlalions to the Go’sernment in respect of newsprint when 
it was not easily available in tlu^ mark(‘t. The two organisations joined 
hands in opposing the proposals of the !>omba\' and Madras Governments 
to impose a tax on ad\'ertisement.s. 

1145, The I.E.N.S. and I.L.'N.A. are the organisations of newspapers for 
promotion and safeguarding the biminess interests or the newspapers. 
Tliough th(' membei'slnp of both the organisations is about 80, the I.L.N.A. 
has mostly small papers and peiaodicals among its iiKvmbers while the 
bigger paper's and periodicals are members of the I.E.N.S. This can be 
seen fi'om tlic following tables: — 


TAIUJi 11 


Papers v\ bich 
arc members 
only of ILNA 

Papers which 
are members 
only of lENS 

("the No. of In- 
dian language 
papers in 
each category 
is shown in 
brackets) 

1 Papers which 
! arc members 
of ILNA 
and IONS 

Dailies ...... 

20 

53 ( 28 ) 

7 

Other Periodicals .... 

47 

15(4) 

5 


6? 

08(32) 

12 

TABLE III 



! Circulation of 
! papers which | 
j are members i 
! only of ILNA | 

: 1 

i 

1 

: i 

( 

Circulation of 
papers which 
are members 
only of lENS 

(the circulation j 
of Indian langu-' 
age papers in * 
each category | 
is given in | 

brackets) ! 

i Circulation of 
papers which 
are members 
of ILNA and 
lENS 

Dailies ...... 

1*02 lakhs 

13 '78 lakhs j 
( 7 - 25 ) I 

I • 1 1 lakhs 

Weeklies 

1*41 lakhs 

5-42 lakhs I 
(2-42) 

Nil 



251 


646. Among Indian language papers which are rnenihers only of the 
I.E.N.S. but not of the I.L.N.A., there are 12 daily papers with a circuia- 
tion of 4-2r) lakhs and 2 weeklies witl) a circulation ot I’Ol) iaklis A\hich 
are associated with English papers which ai'e also members of the 
I.E.N.S. 

til7. The majoritx^ of iruanbei's nf the l.hN.A. ars' noi (i'iilies while 
I.E.N.S. has a majority of members which are dailies. 75 per cent, of the 
mcinbw's of the I.L.N.A. arc' from Bombas' State, while tlie membership 
of tie.' I.E.N.S. IS moiT e\'en!\’ distributed all osasr India 

648. The Indian I’ederatjon of Working Journalists and tiie Soutiiern 
India Journalists’ Federation are tiie organisations of tlie rsnihnvres Tlie 
f undaiTR'n tal dinereiiei' lietwi-c-n these two organrsat ions is that the 
I.F.W.J. is organised on trade nnion lines whereas the S.l.d F, ooc not 
aeeept the principle of trade unions for working journalists. 

649. Thei'e is no sc-)iarate organisalion of the editors of newspapers 
as such. The A.l.N.E.C. is c'ssentialiy an organisation ol IIk' newspaptu’s 
though the^y are generally represented b.N’ their editors. The editors are 
also members of the two associations of employees -l.F.W.J. and S.I.J.I*'. 
We have analysed the membership of A.l.N.E.C. and l.F.W.J. in order to 
find out the common elc'ment between these two organisations. The 
result is given in Table IV below: — 

TAHLF rv 


Editors who | Editors wlio | Editors who 
arc members ; arc members : arc members 
of 1 F W j only o\: A I N EG on ly j of IF WJ and 
■ I AINI-C 


66 , T9 


Dailies 

Periodicals 


44 


98 


CHAPTER XIV 


NEWSFAFER CONTENT 


1)50, Quantum and proportions. — We desired lo have a general idea both 
at the absolute quantum and oi' the relative proportions of news of various 
categories, features, editorial articles ’.and advertisenieiits, carried in the 
newspapers, and for this purpose we had asked all daily newspapers to send 
us an analysis of the printed matter classified under a number of headings 
specified by us. The analysis and classification were to be carried out of 
the issues of certain dates, selected by us on the principles of random samp- 
ling to cover all days of the week as well as the four quarters of Hie year, 
so as to equalise any periodical variations that might exist. Many news- 
papers found considerable diflicuity in carrying out the classification as 
desired by us, while others misunderstood some of t’le instructions that we 
had given. Tlie result was that such figures as had been submitted by 
the papers concerned were not usable. We therefore decided to ignore 
these figures and to arrange for the classification to be conducted by our own 
stati. In vit'w of the limitations of time and of personnel we confined our 
examination to certain selected papers. These were: 

English 

1. Advance 

2. Arnrita Bazar Patrika (Calcutta) 

3. Assam Tribune 

4. Plindu 

5* Hindustan Times 

6. Indian Express (Madras) 

7. Statesman (Calcutta) 

8. Times of India (Bombay) 

Indian Language 

1. Ananda Bazar Patrika 

2. Swadhinata 

3. Janmabhumi 

4. Vandemataram 

5. Nava Bharat Times (Delhi) 

6. Vishwamitra (Calcutta) 

7. Samyukta Karnataka 



8. Malayala Manorama 

9 . M 1 } 1 r u l)h II rri i ( Kozhikode ) 
1(5. LokasaHa (Bombay) 

1 1 Mahai-a.slitra 

12. Sakai 

13. Saniaja 

14. I )i(i.nn,'ini 

15. S\\ adesamitrao 
I(). 'rai Nadu 

17, Au'dhra Ikitrika 

Ui Andhra Pi'ahha 

H). Ml lap (l.lrdu - Jullundur) 

20. Pi'atap 


Mda-a,' nanius wei'e selected so as 10 iuclud<^ paper;;, b(4h large and siuall, 
and to eovei- diirerenl parts of tlu' eountrN' as well a;-; dilTorent iaiiguages.. 
'1 he\' iucludc'd ]:)ap(‘.r.s oi large and small circulation, and jiaper.s bedonging 
1 ' 1 cliains as wcrll as indi\’i(iua] units. Spta. imen pcipcrs ware- drawn from 
iatiglish as well as Bengali, Gujai-ati, Hindi, Kannada, Alalayalain, Maratlii, 
Tamil, d'ehigu and Urdu. Issiu's for fourteen dates selected at lanidom 
within the first quartei' of 1053 were anahs-ed in this manner. 


051. (_)ui‘ j'emarks l.xdow are hast'd ow tlie results of this ('.xarninat ion. 
It must b(' statt'd that wdule the' data eos'er a certain period falling within 
tlie cciurse of inquiry, they slumld not be c-onsidered as valid for tin.' whole 
intervening period, (tr fr)r today. There have been some elianges, as for 
instance in the number of pages in each week’s issues of some papers. This 
would liave the result, of i-t'ducmg the proportion of ad\'('rtiseriu nts in the 
average issue. Th{‘ additional material frw these pagi's lias in some eases 
bfM't^ -ecu rod b\' more extensi\'e eoveragtv and perhaps in some ca.ses by 
less jagoroii.s editing. The result might be to change the relative propor- 
tions of onc' type of news or the othins We have not come across any signs 
of a conscious attempt to remedy the defects we have pointed out or to 
impro\'e the balanc'e of news or romment. Because of errors possibly intro- 
duced by the sampling, the review^ below should be c-onsidered descripti\-e 
rather than quantitati\'e. 


652. Variations in size. — Daily newspapers in this country display con- 
siderable variety in size, but the majority of them are printed in wdiat has 
come to be the standard size in India, i.e. demy size. Of the papers we 
have examined, ’’Pratap” and “Milap” were printed in a smaller size, double 
crowm, but in the table below^ they have been classified according to the 
equivalent number of pages of standard size. The number of pages in 
each paper showed considerable variation. In order to allow' for differences 
in the number of pages between certain days of the week and others, we 
give below the average number of pages per week for the different papers^ 
Within each category, the papers have been arranged in the order of their 
size during the period studied. 


254 


TABLE I 

Size of Nezvspapers 


No. of pages per English papers 

week 


Indian language papers 


I 88-74 


1. Hindustan Times 

2. dimes of India 


11 72—62 


HI 60 — 50 


JV 48—38 


V 36—26 


1. Hindu 

2. Statesman - 

3. Amrita Bazar Patrika . 

4. Indian Express 


I. As?»am Tribune . 


I. Advance 


1. Vandemataram 

2. Janmabhiimi. 


1. Ananda Bazar Patrika 

2. Navabharat Times. ^ 

3. Andhra Prabha 

4. Vishwamitra 

1. Praia p 

2. Andhra Patrika 

3. |Sakalj 

4. Samyukta Karnataka 

5. Milap 

6. Dinamani. 

7. Lokasatta 

8. Sarnaja 

9. Swadesamitran 
10. Mathrubhumi 

1. Malayala Maiiorama 

2. Tai Nadu 

3. Maharashtra 

4. Swadhinata. 


653 . Owing to these differences in the number of pages, there is 
correspondingly a great deal of variation in the area of paper allotted to 
news or comment in each paper, as well as in the space used for advertise- 
ments. A graph, Appendix XL, shows average space allotted to news and 
advertisements over the period surveyed in each of the papers that 
have examined. It w^ill be noticed that some of the papers of larger size, 
in spite of the high proportion of space devoted to advertisements, manage 
to provide a large amount of space for editorial matter, while some papers 
of small size in a similar position provide only a meagre ser\^ice to readers. 

654 . Effect of typography. — Further dilferences in the quantum of 
material placed before the readers are caused by the size of type used and 
by the amount 6f spacing allowed between lines. In certain cases this 
spacing is achieved by casting type on bodies of larger size (e.g. 7 pt. type 
on 8 pt. body) while in others, lead has been used to space out the lines. 
We have had a comparison made of the average number of lines in a 
column of normal size, of the width of columns, and of the number of 
words per line. In the case of English papers of standard size, the pages 
are divided into 8 columns and the average number of lines per column 
ranges from 130 to 200 . There is some variation in most cases between the 



columns carrying editorials or feature articles and those carrying news, 
The figures below refer to news columns, paidicularly to the main body ‘ 
of news rather than the “intros’". 


1. Hindu 

2. Indian Express 



200 lines 


1. Amrita Bazar Painka 

2. Bombay Charomcle 

3. Hindustan limes 

4. 'I lic Maih Madras 

5. Statesman - 

6. Tribune, Ambala 


170 lines 


J 


n Hitavada, Nagpur 

2. Indian Nation, Patna 

3. Indian Republic, Madras 

4. Leader, Allahabad 

5. National Herald, I.ucknow 

6. National Standard, Bombay 

7. Pioneer, Lucknow 

8. Searchlight, Patna 

9. Times of India (Bombay ) 


y 150 lines. 


Most other papers . . 130 lines. 


The columns are almost always of lli to 12 ems. width and the number of 
words per line ranges from 7 to 5. Tlie extremes in the nurnbtu’ of words 
per column of 20” are therefore about 1400 words in the case of papers like 
the “Hindu” of Madras and the “Indian Express and about 700 words in 
the case of papers like the “Deccan Herald" or the “Assam Tribune . In 
the case of Bengali script, newspapers that use machine composition have 
about 130 lines to the column, while those tiial use hand composition, have 
only about 110 lines which is also the figure for the Assamese paper. The 
latter figure is more or less common for other languages also, such as 
Malayalarn, Tamil, Hindi, and Marathi (modern types only). In the case 
of papers in other languages wliere typographical design lias not advanced, 
and in the case of some Hindi and Marathi papers also wliich use types 
of old design, the number of lines per column is only 90. Languages 
falling under this group include also Telugu, Kannada. Gujarati, Oriya and' 
Punjabi. Comparison of the space allotted to each particular category of 
news or of editorial comment would, therefore, have to lake into account 
the wide differences that exist in the number words that can be com- 
pressed within the space. 

655. It would be obvious from the foregoing that a dimet comparison 
of the space allotted to different categories of news or comment would not 
really indicate the extent of disparity in the reading matter provided by 
one paper and the other. In the case of both Indian language papers and 
English papers, the variations due to typography are in each case in the 
ratio of 3:2 between maximum and minimum while the overall range is 
more than 2:1. It must be emphasised that subject to the limit of legibility 
a paper that uses modern type can offer its readers, within tlie sanie number 
of pages, much more reading matter than another whic’li uses types of 
antiquated design. The limitations of printing also add to the difficulties 



250 


tyy M'du'. jfii; l('(.d it\ in soiik^ c<is(^.s thcM’^'by niaking it ru'ccssciry to USG 
lariy'i- t^'pe. 


t)5(.>. Tlic ana! \ sis that wa* Iiavo rnadn of the amount of space devoted 
<-‘tds'gories oi Uicws, features, and comment, is repi'oduced in 
App( ndix XLI. We review here brietly the trends indicated by the figures. 


h;>7 ra tonal Matter.— Tn respect of total editorial space, the variation 
from ore' paper to anothei- i-anges from 450 colurnn-inciies in the (use of 
bidian language' papers io 1500 column-mc’hes m the case of the 
largest bnglisti papers. Classilied according to the total amount of editorial 
matter eariied, including news, features and eommeut. but exeludine ad- 
vertlsemenI^. th(' position was roughly as In Table IT below. 


TABLE IT 


L(l it onal Smtcc in coJutyin-itu-h cs 
(Average per e’a\) 


Ldit^'rial 'ipacc 

. 

English papers 

i 

1 fndian language p.ipei's 

1 

Siiipr pros .1200 

r. Ilin iii'Uan Times 

2- d inics ol India 

- ' 1- Na\' Bharat Times 

n ,i2o:,.-000 

1. Hindu 

2. Indian lexpress 

3. Arnrita Ba/ar I’atrika . 

4. Statesman . 

r. Vandemataram 
■ 2. Anaiiiia Bazar IPurika 

• 13. Jaiimablujmi 

4. V'ishwamiira 

3. Andhra Bra 1) ha 

IIT 900 7;xO 


j. Andhra IPurikii 

IV 750 — 600 

r. Assam 'f’rihune . 

2. Advance 

• 1. Dinamani 

; 2. Saniyukta Karnataka 

3. Swadcsanii trail 
; 4- Matlirubhiimi 

1 5. Pratap 
; 6. Milap 

1 7. Lokasatta 
j 8. Samaja 

1 9. Sakai 

V 600 --450 . ' 

• * 

j 

I . Tai Nadu 

2. Swadhinata 

3. Maharashtra 

4. Malayala Manorama 


ba8. Advertising Matter.— While in the amount of total editorial space 
the maximum range did not exceed 3i to 1 between the smalle.st paper 
and^ the largest paper, the variation in the case of advertisements was about 
25 to 1. The space m column inches devoted by each paper to advertise- 
ments is indicated in Table II below. Within each category the papers 
have been arranged according to the volume of advertising they carried 
■ during the period examined. 


TABLE III 

Advertisement space in column-inches 
(Average per day) 


Advertisement space 

English papers 

Indian language papers 

I 750 — ^600 

j. vStatenian 

1 

j 

2. Times ot India 

Hindu 


II 600—450 

1. Hindustan Times 

2. Amrita Bazar Fatrika 


III 450—300 

Indian Express 

1. Janmabhnrni 

2. At land a Bazar Fatrika 
. 3. Vishwamitra 

: 4. Sakai 

5. Vandemataram 

IV 300 — 200 

Assam Tribune 

. I. Loksatta 

■ 2. Malavala Manorama 

3. Fra tap 

4. Andhra Prabha 
, 5. Mi lap 

' 6. Samyukla Karnataka 

7. Dinamani 

V 200 — 150 

Advance 

. Swadesamitran 


2. Matlirubliumi 

3. Samaia 



4. Nav Bharat Times 

\’I T 50— 100 


1. Tai Nadu 



2. Andhra I’atrika 

3. Mal'iaraslitra 

VI T Below 50 


Swadhinata 

659 . News Columns. — Among the various 

sections of editorial matter, 

news natural ly takes 

tlio largest proportion 

of space. Table IV below indi- 

cates the amount of 

space devoted to news of all kinds (includhig news 

photos and maps) in 

dhlcrent newspapers. 

TABLE IV 



Total news — in column-inches 
(Average per day) 

Advertisement space 

Jhiglish papers 

j Indian language papers 

I 1200—750 

I. Hindustan Times 

I. Vishwamitra 

2. Indian Express 

. 2. Ananda Bazar Fatrika 


3. Hindu 

I 3. V'andemataram 

: 

4. Times of India 

■\, Andhra IhMbh.a 
; 5. Na\-;ibharai Times 

6. Andhra Fatrika 

7. Janmabliumi 

fl 750 — 600 . ^ 

I. Statesman 

r . S ini 'v'ukta Karnataka 

2. Amrita Bazar Fatrika 

2. SwatiesajTiitran 


3. Assam Iribune 

3. Dinaiiiani 
' 4. Mathrubhumi 

III 600 — 450 

T. Advance 

i I. Tai Nadu 

2. Samaja 
’ 3. Swadhinata 

IV 450 — 300 . 


1. Malayala Manorama 

2. Lokasatta 
; 3. Pratap 

1 4. Miiap 
j 5. Maharashtra 
j 6. Sakai 


! 



258 


660. Categories of News. — While by themselves these figures are signifi- 
cant, we considered it useful to examine separately the quantum of inter- 
national news and news of national and local importance carried in each 
paper. For this purpose we adopted the following classification: — 


TABLE V 


Basis of c/assijicafioii of news coverage 


(Columns of 20 inches -21 inches) 


Mini mum space for 


Regional 

news 


National International 
news news 


Grade A 


12 cols. 8 C'ds. 


Grade B 


15 ct)is. 8 cols. 


5 cols. 


Gratle C'. 


7 cols. 4 cols 3 cols. 


Where coverage is le.ss than the minirna laid down above, it has been 
graded D. 

hbl. It will be noticed that there is cotisidcrable difl’erence :n the 
criteria we have adopted in respect of internaticnia] news, national news 
and local news in order that the service provided by a particular paper 
may be considered as falling under tlu' categories ^A’, ‘B’, ‘C’, or ‘D’. In 
each case we have fixed a high quota in respect of State and local news, 
a slightly lov/er quota for National news, and a much lower quota for 
international news. We would consider as normal, that allocation of space 
which would provide the best possible coverage for State and local news, 
and the closest possible approximation thereto in the coverage of National 
news and then of International new'^s. On the other hand, a paper whose 
coverage of State affairs is poorer than its coverage of National or Inter- 
national news cannot be considered to have discharged its responsibilities; 
it may be merely retailing to the subscribers what it gets from the news 
agencies, without employing an adequate number of correspondents for 
proper coverage of State or city news. The papers that we have examined 
have been classified according to their coverage of news, in Table VI below. 
English and Indian language papers have been shown separately, and in 
each of these sections the papers have been arranged according to their 
grading in the matter of coverage. 



TABLE VI 

Relative coverage of Nezvs 


English 

f- Hindu . 

2. Indian Express 

3- Hindustan dimes 

4- Idmes of India 

5- States man 

6. Arnrita Bazar ISttrika 

7. Assam Tribune 
h. Advance 

I i ui an s /.7ugiHigc pa/K'rs 

1. A.n:;nda Bazai Pairika 

2, Vi ^iiwamitra . 

3, Andhra Prabha 

4. Nava Blia rat T’imc*' 
s. Andhra Ikurika 

6- N’andemataram 
7. janmabhiimi . 

S'. Dinarnani 

9, Swadesamitran 

10. AJatlirubliumi 

11. Malayala Manorama 

12. Samyukia Karnataka 
i; 7 . TV i Nadu 

14. Lv)kasaita 

15. Alilap . 

16. Pratap . 
i~. San -ija . 

18. Swadhinaia 

19. Alaharashtra . 

20. Sakai . 


I State and 
i local news 


A 

A 

B 

C 

C 

c 

c 

p 

/\ 

A 

A 

A 

A 

A 

A 

n 

B 

B 

P> 

c: 

c 

c 

c: 

c 

c 

c 

c 

c 


National International 

news news 


A A 

A ; A 

A ; A. 

/\ I A 

A I A 

A I A 

!! i H 

I 

C I A 


A is 

A : B 

B B 

B ; B 

B C 


c 1 ; 

C ^ H 

H C 


B 


c: 


P I B 

D I C 


A 


C 


B 

C 


C ; C 
c: : c 
c i c 
c D 


D B 


I) c 


D D 



260 


662. Balance in news coverage. — Judged by the standards we have laid 
down, not ah the papers we examined exhibit a proper balance in news 
coverage. Among those published in English, only two papers provided a 
coverage of State news comparable to their coverage of National and liiter- 
national newst In the case of a third paper, the fact that it is publislied 
from the union capital which is also the capital of a very small state may 
have been responsible for the apparent imbalance; its coverage of State 
and National news put together amply exceeded the combined quota we 
have laid dowii for these two classes of news. In the case of three other 
papers of large circulation which are published as multiple editions, we 
would ascribe the poor coverage of State iiews to the fact of such publi- 
cation. Apparently in order to have the maximum of material in common, 
each edition of the multiple units falls short of what we consider to be 
proper coverage of State and local news. The position revealed by the 
analysis lends support to the argument that such papers fail to serve the 
areas where they are located. One provincial paper showed the weakness 
which follows from too great a dependence on news agency services while 
the other paper, published from a metropolitan centre, shows in addition 
what we consider an unbalanced selection in the editorial section which 
has given foreign news a far greater importance than Indian news. 

663. Indian Language papers. — The Indian language papers show some 
weil-defined characteristics. The first of these is the reduction in the spase 
allotted to International nev^s as compared to English papers. The second 
Is increased impoi'tance generally given to State news as compared to 
National new.s. There are however some exceptions to these trends. There 
are a few papers whose coverage of National news is poorer, proportionately, 
than their coverage of International news. We have examined the propor- 
tions of these tw'o classes of new^s in the news agency service subscribed 
for by these papers and find that the excess of International news in the 
agency service has been reflected in the columns of the newspapers. We 
have discussed elsewhere the agency services, and would like only to say 
here that the editorial staff have adhered too closely to the agency’s selec- 
tion of news. 

664. Readers’ preferences. — Tn connection with the extent of news 
coverage, we have considered the findings of the Sample Survey of newvs- 
paper readership and the preferences as indicated by the readers in the 
matter of the new^s that they read first when they take up the paper. 
Detailed figures are given in the full report on the Survey (Appendix I). 
Talving these three major categories of newv;, iniernational, nationa! and 
State w^e found that 44 per cent, of the rural readers and 42 per cent, of the 
urban readers look first at the- Indian news, he. national news and only 31 per 
cent, of rural readers and 23 per cent, of urban readers look first among 
the columns which carry local news. The corresponding percentage of 
readers who glance first at the foreign news was 10 per cent, both in the 
case of rural and urban readers. These figures refer only to the first in- 
terest of the readers themselves and not necessarily to the quantum of 
news that they would be prepared to read through or the adequacy of the 
coverage now provided. It is an interesting circumstance that though on 
academic grounds we may expect readers to show greater interest in local 
news, the fact remains that the reader’s interest is greater in news of India 
as a whole than in local news. At present, Indian language newspapers 
are giving much more of local news than of national news. We are of the 



opinion that this correct balance has to be preserved in all newspapers. 
The circumstances that readers have not evinced sufficient interest in local 
news can, in our view, be attributed to the fact that at present the selection of 
sucii news items is not done with any ima^-unation nor is sufficient effort 
devoted to collectin^e' news of the type which w’ould leaily inleresl the reader. 
T\lnrcr;ver, the news agencies and the newspapers have not shown ability to 
present these items of local interest in an attractive fashion. It is no doubt 
an ea. ,y matter when an event is of national importance to put it in a form 
wliich would ealch tiie pubhe eye. It requires a high stanriard ot journalism 
to pul over successfully items of local importance,. 

Foreign iis-ws. — In the cass’ of foreign riows, tliere is apparently a 
substantial percentage HO per cent.) of readers who look first foj- such 
items before even reading news of natumal oi' local importance. This is 
in excess of the number of readers who look first for sports news 
(6 })er cent.) or for commercial news (6 per cent.) even though it is the 
practice of many newspapers to devote an entire page for sports news 
and another page for commercial items. While international news might 
net form the first interest of a large proportion of readers, it would appear 
that a much larger number of readers show great interest in such news 
In the Readership Survey an attempt was made to check the preference of 
readers in the matter of different categories of news by asking them ques- 
tj^ms about the sections which they would not mind being curtailed in 
or<km to provide space for items which they liked, e.g. photographs. (92 
pet cent, of the total readership had said in answei' to a query that they 
would like to have more photographs in their daily paper). They have 
re.'^pended to lh(‘ question regarding news to be curtailed in the following 
manner: — 


r’Aiii.h: vri 


of news p^oferreci to he curl-iiied 


r new*' 

2 . I ,uad news 
3 - Alerkci report:-; 

4. Indian ne/a/s 

5. Spceebes and Sunenienis 

6. AiUieles 

7. Foreign news 

Toral 


Rum! 


U r ban 


No. of 


No. ('f <- 

’3 of 

cases 

lolai 

• iU'CS f 

ojal 


20 

sO-! 

20 

3 

' 8 

'Ov? 

13 


! 


2 r 

2 'A 

M 

126 

s 

'V >-7 






348 : 

1 

(92 

] r 

472 ' 

17 

1 20 

10 

305 : 

1 1 

I, 7 j 7 

!00 

2.745 

loo 


666. It would be seen from the for-egoing that even among rural readers 
the people who are prepared to give up the present covei’age of foreign 
news are fewer than those who are prepared for a curtailment of the 
sports news, local news, market reports, or even of national news. 


262 


667. It might be argued that this interest in happenings abroad is purely 
artificial having been fostered by the newspapers themselves in the earlier 
years when coverage of foreign events by world news agencies was much 
more comprehensive than coverage of Indian events, and, incidentally 
quite cheap to buy. There is also the fact that the leading Indian news- 
papers try to model themselves on the lines of the great national dailies 
of the U.K. and attempt to provide, in each issue, a global survey of current 
events. Papers in the Indian languages have inevitably copied the pattern 
set by the English papers and have been giving international news mure 
space and prominence than they might otherwise have done. There is no 
doubt tliat both these factors haa played a part in aeciaing not rnereiy me 
news content of the papers but the interest of the readers also. What we 
are now concerned with is the question whether such emphasis on inter- 
national events is likely to provide the readers with an unbalanced picture 
of world affairs, f rom the narrow point of view, one might favour a news- 
paper which dcfils mainly with local or national affairs devoting only 
casual mention to events abroad. Such a development is noticeable in the 
United States <.f Arnes- ica. for instance, wfiere tlie majcirity of papers con- 
(•ern ihemh.ei\'es ])rf'd(.)minant!y with ioca! allairs and to a much sma.iicr 
extent with national allairs ignoi'ing world events in a manner which has 
left reaiiers ignoranl of events of major significance abroad. The 
survc'v cairied out by the International Press Institute brings out certain 
sjgniheant earnings of the consequences. On the question whether the 
dcinati.ls lor iocal and national new.s permit the newspapers to I’C'medy 
the delects in foreign coverage, American editors could nof agree, though 
they admit that there are many serious defexTs. In tlie United Kingdvim 
Lilt . is a marked disparity between the coverage of foreign news provided 
in the ‘'quality ’ papers and in the “popular” papers, the former showing 
creah:!' awareness of th.e .signilit ance of foreign events than the latter. In 
India, the question apparently is not so much that of one category of news 
being crowded out by another, as in the case of the majority of papers in the 
U.S.A., or the popular papers in the U.K., but one of balancing news. 

608. We have to keep in mind two modern developments. Firstly the 
political and economic policic.s of each country have a deep effect on the 
daily life of citizens of other countries, in a manner not dreamt of two or 
three decades ago. Secondly foreign policies are no longer the close pre- 
serve of career diplomats conducting their negotiations behind doors, but 
have to be explained, discussed and criticised where necessary in public. 
To enable every citizen to understand current world alf‘airs and to form 
intelligent conclusions, it is necessary that he should be kept continuously 
informed of ail significant events wherever they may occur. This is as 
important for citizens of materially advanced countries capable of doing 
great harm or good because of their vast resources, as for the peoples of 
countries like India who can contribute dispassionate views and disinterest- 
ed advice in the Councils of the world. India is playing an increasing part 
in world affairs and is also being increasingly affected by world events. 
It v/oLild not therefore be good to encourage any indifference or apathy 
towards such events by ignoring their significance in the world context^ 

669. Judging however by the quantum of space allotted, it seems to us 
that there is some need for more careful editing of foreign news in order 
to ensure that while no news of significance is left out, the torrent of 
words that flows from the news agency teleprinters is not permitted to 
«weep away news of happenings in this country. 



263 


670. Coverage of different subjects. — A detailed analysis has been made 
in Appendix XLII of the news according to the subject matter such a.s 
politics, science, technology, art culture, etc. We tried to distinguish if 
possible, between news items that originated from agencies and others 
that came from correspondents or other sources. We found that unfortunate- 
ly a vejy large proportion of the items in a day’s paper carry no indication 
of their origin. It was not therefore possible for us to examine the extent 
to wdiich a particular riew.spaper is dependent on one or the other news 
agency for filling up its pages. Reporting is not always free I'roin comment, 
and it would be of great assi.stance to the reader.s if they could know where 
the comment originated. For this purpose we consider it useful if news- 
papers would invariably indicate the source of each item. It would be 
.sufficient here to say that the eontents of llie news coiumns appear to have 
been dictated to a considerable extent by the nature of llie seri’ice provided 
by news agencies. We have Mumtioned m the ca.sc of .some newspapers how 
this dependence on news a.gencies ha.s set more or less tlie i.iaticrii of distri- 
bution of sp.'iee between news from tiie stale, the (•ouiili-y, and the rest .d' the 
world. 't I, as also determined the iirep,,, 1 , 1.111 in each case, of news aliout 
diiMerenf suiuec'.s, such as p(..|itics. econonne,;, scieiu-. , art 01 industry. We 
iirn-e give,' our comments on llie pnseid covei-age in die cliaptrr on Nevt's 

671. Fditoriai comment.-The space devoted to ediforial e(,.mment and 
tiie exi.'ressiori ol views was .generally two columns (of 20'’-l!r') in each 
issue. There were, however, instances whore three columns had been 

dmolcii to these subjects, and of many Indian language iiapcivs where only 
2 eo.umns had been set apart. In one papm-, editorial comment was con- 
fined to c.ne column. Defails of the .space- allowed are given in the Appendix 
XLiri which mchKk'.s also an amdx'sis of the space allotied V> various 
categories of subjects. The position indicated by 1hc.se figures is briefly 
reviewed beiow. \ ^ 


of thei papei.s h.ave allotted a sub.stantial proportion 

o] tiu. 1 , leading articles to comment on international events- items of ria- 

H or region take only thi- third place; (hi,, niav be 

u.tii..)uti-.. to tiu- fact that these papers circulated in m,.re lhaii one state. 


rvj’/'^' 'dnguago jiapei-s, which circulate .gi nerally 

wic' proportion of space devoted to local atTairs 

v^.e. a,,hci (2,5 per cent, of the tidal) than in the ca.se of English papers 

ub* *i«''.'ever iioticable tli,-t|: t.aking all the 


papers as a whole, the space devoted to n.ternalion;'! allairs warwi v h"h 

• f thebota ) T? vomparable with English papers (3-1 per cent, 

, . ; : ■ because a number of papers paid more attention 

to in.ornational affams than to national affairs. .Some of them were a.^o- 
ciated with Engli.sh papers but (dhers were not. Various factors have l-een 
mentioned as responsible for this readiness to deal with international 
affairs rathi-r than with national affairs. One of them is that the 'supply 
ot reference material is much more ample on world affairs than on Indian 
affairs: another is that commenting on the former is le.ss ticklish and there 
IS less risk of offending readers by taking a particular line,' and so on 
Whatever the reasons, we would prefer Indian language newspapers to 
observe a fairer balance in the selection of subjects for comment instead or 
following too closely the pattern of the English papers. ° ^ 


264 


674. The vaJue of a study of this nature would be greatly enhanced if 
it could be extended to a large proportion of the newspapers in this country 
and could also be extended over longer periods. Owing to certain limita- 
tioirs, we had to confine our study to a few selected papers though an attempt 
was made to include papers of various categories, We would suggest Uiat 
it should be one of the functions of the Press Institute to conduct a continu- 
ing study of the contents of the daily newspapers, not merely with reference 
to the limited number of heads under which we have discussed it here, 
but under all the heads set out in the Appendices XL to XLIII and others 
that may suggest themselves. This study should be conducted over the 
whole year so as to even out the variations that might be bi ought about by 
intensive activity in the regional, national or international spheres. We 
would recommend that the data thus collected and the comments of the 
Press Council thereon should be published for the benefit of everyone 
interested. 



CHAPTER XV 


OWNERSIUr AND CONTROL 

075 Newspaper ownership.— Before proceeding to describe and discuss 
the various types of ownership prevalent among Indian now.spapers and 
the kl id , o!' control that follow, wo think it desirable to refer lo some o. 
the fundamental features pertaining to the new.spaper u> hen 

relevance to the institution of owmership itself in that indusij. m h. - 
with, news and views, which newspapers sell, serve not only - informafme 
asp-cd but also an educational and a propagandist aspect. They mill ence 
opinion, conduct, and action; and this is done not only in the political but 
also in tlK .social, economic am! cultural fields. Just as the public hac t 
vital interest in the purity of their water supply, so have they an equallv 
vital interest in the accurate presentation of news and fair piesontation 
of views. In other words, the news and views winch newspapens pin vm 
cai-vv with them a vital public interest that needs to be safeguarded. At 
tlm'same time, the profit motive which governs the exercise o ownersh. 
in industrv in genera!, including the newspaper maustrs can ,K.\t ai. 
adverse effect on the quality of the product in the case ol the nmv.spa pm 
UKlu’drv. Vvhat sells most or what yields the ma.ximnin prof, 
inctustrie.- a definite connection with quality oi the product, out it, 

. : r . ewsoapers, unfortunately, sensationalism, extravagance, vulga 

lasc o. I.iw.p..p- , anneal Whereas, therefore, the profit motive 

r o..,,,- na, 

m the rase of the newspaper industry-. Moreovei, tlie 
::f^u:;;;s ■‘./L mduswy . n. .rg. ev™ 
whole; the mmiber o^ ow The competd.mn that exist, s 

among newspapms, t ' ’ .v,>r,'ised In' the forces of free competi- 

fherefore, no aufomatic ‘ ‘ qualitv of product. Taking these 

^loubt that the nowspape, is e.ssentiallv 
: n di' uBiitv' and whatever be the precise form that ownership takes, 

<,«no,0.,p riSM, 

o, r«Oa ,«n. n (aC a^„c«p... _ 

or a univorsitw It is tri^ ^ public intev-t-'t is the rriterioTi 

"eel that ' somewhat similar considerations 
also prevail m the case of newspapers, 

676 Forms of ownership.-The following forms of ownership are at 
present found among the newspapers and periodicals.- 

(i) Individual; 

(ii) Partnership; 


265 


266 


(iii) Joint Stock Company, public or private; 

(iv) Trust; 

(v) Society registered under various Acts; and 

(vi) Co-operative ownership. 

The extent of capital invested in the daily press under the different 
forms of ownership has been estimated in Chapter III. While it cannot 
be said that different types of ownership are peculiar to different classes 
of newspapers or to different areas or languages, the same forms of owner- 
ship are not found in every case. The district and weekly press is predo- 
minanty owned by individuals or, m certain cases, by partnerships. Metro- 
politan newspapers are almost invariably published by concerns incorpr>ra- 
ted under the Companies Act either as public companies or as private 
companies. Chains, groups and multiple units exist in almost all the langu- 
ages in which jouriialism has deveiiiped, the only exception lahng 
Ma]a\adani. The questimi does not ai-i>e so far as Oriya, Assanitac, and 
Punjabi a:-e concerned wloeli have only a few small papei's will, a verv 
limited careidation. Two other interesting faets came to onr notiee. bn 
Maiayalam there was ex'idence that ownership and, lo a (a'ltain extent, 
readership are distributed ace- a ding n. religious C'>mmuniims and sects. 
It IS also worthy of note that tliere have been several instances pf'iS'ms 
not belonging to a particular linguistic group or iigien who liaxe bc'cn 
able to start and run successfully newspapers in a language or region 
with which they have no connection. 


677. It would appear that in recent years, there has been a growing 
tciKioncy, already referred to in the case of metropolitan areas, for the 
conversion, into Joint Stock companies, of what had earlier been mdi\n- 
dually owned or family concerns. An exact comparison is, however, not 
possible of the numbem of individually owned papers then and now’’ because 
of lack of reliable statistics about liie earlier periods. There has been also 
a tendency towards increase ej the number of papers under the control 
of each individual concern as, for example, the papers controlled by Messi's. 
Bennett Cof. man and Co. Ltd. or the Express Newspaper’s Ltd. Thei'e has 
also been considerable increase in the capital and resources, commanded by 
the industry, though it is not possible to say to what extent this ims been 
assisted by the change in forms of ownership or the tendency towards c’on- 
centration. 


G;;1 Exercise of control.— With the expansion of the press, the control 
and management are naturally inf)re ccimplex than some 15 or 20 years aso. 
In the matter of control, it would appear that in the earlier days, a con- 
siderable measure of managerial control was left to the editor, while today 
the tendency is towai-ds transfer of even editorial controt to the niaiiage- 
ment. While this trend is noticeable in the exercise of control, there has 
been no ostensible change in the forms of control except by way of inci-eas- 
adoption of the institution of IVIanaging Editt)rs” who, cxerci.se on be- 
half of the owners the functions of managerial control, while acting in many 
cases only as nominal editors. The drawbacks of this arrangement are 
discussed in the Chapter on “Editorial Control.’’ 

679. Without subscribing to the tendency to consider the past as having 
been in every respect, more glorious than the present, we have come to 
the conclusion, on the basis of the evidence of people who have been in the 



267 


profession for decades, that there was formerly a widespread prevalence of 
the idealistic and missionary spirit while today there is a greater emphasis 
on the profit motive. There are, however, some papers which have managed 
to retain their traditions irrespective of changes in the form of ownership. 
Unfortunately these are not numerous enough to provide a solid core for 
the future expansion of the press in this countiy. There have been in- 
stances where traditions of general objerdivity and of a high standard of 
journalism (whatever the political policy might have been) were, after a 
change of ownership, no longer maintained at the same level. 

680. Effect of control. — The elTect of ownership and the eontro] of the 
proprietor are apparent not merely m such general aspects as tradition or 
journalistic standards but in the matter of policy vvhicli tiie paper sets out 
to serve. It is, perhaps, inevitable that a paper that is owned by business 
men or industrialists, whelhei- diro('t!\- or tlirough tfie cimtrol of Joint 
Stock Companies, should adopt editmiai piilicaos whicii advance directly 
or indirectly the interests of the business community as a whole, or the 
particular business interests or cornmn itc'nts (;t tun propiuidors, 'i'o the 
extent that sucli policies are op-.Mi!\ c:.;poused ay iho eihional column:; of 
the papers concerned, we can inivo no cause to (vnuiiam. Wliere, ia/v. m'er, 
the ehcct of sueh allegiance to a particular business interest extends btp'ond 
the editorial columns and affects the fairness, objectivity, accuracy or com- 
prehe.nsiveness of news reporting, tiie community is justilied in protesting. A 
man;s opirnons are his own, but if he claims to purvey news, the buyer 
is entitled to insist that it shall be untainted, unadulterated and undiluted. 
It is from this aspect that we are most concerned uth tiie effect of (twner- 
ship ai!d the control that it exeiciscs on the quality of the service provided 
to the public. The different aspects of bias, vvlahher among owners oi* 
among workers, are examined in a succeeding (■hapler, but we are here 
concerned mainly with the form m which such inas, on tiie part of the 
owners, is communicated to tiie editorial staff {»t the newspaper, to be 
I'eflected in its contents. 

()81« Dictation of policy. — Instances have been reported to us of the news 
policy of a paper having be^m dictated liy the pn^piuetors. One instance 
was given where a parficular paper had been directed to support certain 
named candidates at the eicetions. lii aiK.thcr, tiu. proprieloi iiad given 
instructions that no photograplis or life-sketciies of any candioate standing 
for ejections at Delhi should be published. We are discussing in Chapter 
XVlIl the manner and the extent of pei missible interfereiu^e m pin icy 
matters by tiie proprietor. Bui subject to tiidse reservations wo ar(^ pre- 
pared to grant to the proprietor the rigiit f)f layny down overall pc J icy as 
far as the opinion columns are concerned. We are, for this nwo)))^ in- 
clined to overlook the cases wiiere proprietors liacl given instructions to 
the editor to support, in his leading articles, a particular fiscal pi J icy 
which was likely to benefit industrial vamtures of the propriidor. The 
safeguard in such matters would be for the paper to publish periodically 
a complete statement of the names of the propivietors and responsible exe- 
cutives on the newspaper so that the public could judge for themselves 
the extent to which the views expressed in the paper may have to be reject- 
ed as being possibly biassed. 

682. It would be rather naive to expect a newspaper or periodical run 
by a leading light of a Chamber of Commerce to advocate communism or 
support a proposal for expropriation of capital. It is, however, legitimate 


268 


to deroond that in reporting news of happenings it should not over-em- 
pbasiso one side of a picture or black out another or otherwise distort a 
despatch so as to mislead the reader. 

(183. Boosting of the proprietor. — The most obvious form in which the 
inhoence of the proprietor is visible in the news columns of a paper is the 
blatarn boost of the activitic's of the proprietor or of the concerns in which 
he is interested. The objection to such boosting arises from the fact that 
exe-'Sf-ive prominence in the news columns of a paper is likely to give the 
readers an incorrect and exaggerated idea of the importance of the acti- 
\itas reported. In some cases, we find that editors have taken a firm 
stand against reqiusts from the proprietor for such puffs but in a large 
nunilier of instances, we find that the proprietors have managed to occupy 
very much more space than they deserve. We have before us a collec- 
ti. ri nf cuttings of a Calcutta paper which offends regularly and inexcus- 
abl\ in this manner. Publicity is given to the most trivial activities of 
the proprietor and his family and is reinforced by photographs of such 
de’ngs. In attempting excessive publicity of this nature, the paper has 
displayed a deplorable lapse from the canons of good taste and propriety. 
In contrast, another paper in Madras studiously keeps out of its columns 
any reference to the proprietor or his movements. 

f)84 Publicity is given in the offending papers not merely to movements 
and doings but to speeches made and statements issued by the proprietors 
()!i subjects on which their personal views could not be of the slightest 
inicrest to the public. By getting these published in the news columns, the 
pKvprietors no doubt manage to get more attention for these views than 
they would get if published as leading articles as they sometimes aim to 
bo, or as advertisements which most of them are in reality. 

()85. Writing up business activities.—While boosting in the news columns 
may be merely offensive without being harmful to the public, this cannot 
bo .said of special write-ups which cover activities connected with the 
buMHoss and industrial interests of the proprietors. We have seen instruc- 
ta nsy given to the editor in the name of the proprietor, directing him to give 
.^•pocial prominence to an intervif^w on a subject of economic controversy, 
and another which calls for full publicity to statements issued by the 
Pre.sident of the Sugar Merchants’ Association. At the time when the 
InO'cin ail lines were* nationalised, one newspaper carried, without anv 
indication of the source, material which had been issued by the proprietor. 
Even worse are boosts in the financial columns of a newspaper. In a cutting 
gi\en to us from one newspaper which is owned and controlled by an 
industrial magnate, it has been reported that there was special activity 
m the stock market in the shares of a particular concern which received 
strong support from buyers. An examination of other papers of that date 
which carried even more extensive reports of stock exchange activities 
fails to reveal any reference to the alleged interest in these shares. Since 
the other papers are not financially interested, either in boosting or depress- 
ing* the shares, we are compelled to conclude that the report in the business 
magnate’s paper was inspired. Again, with reference to a Bombay paper 
witricsses from business circles have told us that there is strong suspicion 
of the news in the financial columns having been manipulated in order to 
assist the stock market operations of the proprietor though we could not 
get specific instances. We cannot sufficiently condemn such practices 
wherever they may exist. ^ 



269 


m 


$> 


686, Biassed reporting and editing of news. — Unfairness in reporting may 
arise from many causes and some of these can exist even in tlie case 
where the editor is independent. Political prejudices or ambitions arc not 
the exclusive weakness of proprietors, and editors are not immune. 
may expect however that in the case of the editor, long training in jouin-*- 
lism and contact with others imbued with a spirit of public seivic e u dl 
create in him a regard for certain standards of objectivity and fairness. 
To that extent, we arc convinced that the public can expect a better d^^al 
from an editor who is free to act independently and is governed by the 
ethics of the profession than from anotht'r who has to dance to tlie tunc die 
proprietor plays. 


687. In one chain operating from Bombay inslrurtions \\eu appauntlj 
issued, at the time of the last general elections, to play down o ah to 
report the activities of one political leader on t.ic giounc la „ ^ ^ . 

prmtor did not want them printed. In another case, tne edito one m 

the papers drew the attention of the stafl to criticism voicei ‘ ’ 

prietoi on another occasion and says ••....(the proprietor, has take 
particular objection to the thing that tihi stor.v regarding c ec a u 
situation in the constituency of the Prime Minister, ^.enru, has not h a 
given in full and in displaying manner as thns has been done in t le ... . . 

(The proprietor) had particularly .sent a special '' 

Allahabad for sendiiyg the story and wanted it to go m ^ ^ 

Dipcrs The gentleman coneerned had to take a warning not to lepiat . ich 
mistakes. This defect should be amended by giving tne '''1^;;"" 

of tlie story in the coming edition of In anot.iei ciiec 

to everv member of the editorial .staff, and referring to the entices n ( toe 
oroprietor) had chance to make regarding the news and artic es pub.ishec 
on Princes” he says -however strongl.x' one may dislike tlie l-nnte.s, it is 
,a hard fact that the rights of Princes are popular in Kajastlian like anythuig. 
All friends should keep these things in view.” 


688. When the Calcutta unit of a chain was closed down disconlinmng 
publication of three papers from that centre, this was not reported in the 
Bombay and Delhi editions. The matter was of such great importance m 
the j lurnalistic v;orld that there was a discussion m Parliament, parti- 
cularly about the large number of people who had been suddenly tin c;wn 
out of employment as a consequence of the closure. There was a f nily 
extensive debate of the various issues, and newspapers all over the conrdiy 
reported the proceedings, but papers belonging to this chain blackea om 
the pi'oceedings completelye The General Manager ol the cliain toiu u.-'. 
that the news was blacked out because the statements in Parliament bad 
been expressions of opinion, had been based on sentiment, and that print :ng 
‘ these questions and answers in the form in which they v/ere put and given 
would be to malign our own paper.” When asked, the Editor of the English 
paper of this chain was fair enough to admit that in spite of this, as far 
as the principle is concerned, he should have published the item. Such 
an admission to us does not, however, alter the fact that the readers of the 
papers belonging to this chain had been kept in ignorance of this important 
development in the newspaper world. 

689. The manner in which the proprietor efTectively controls the news 
content in his paper may not always be by means of a written or oral 
directive referred to earlier. In certain cases, periodical conferences held 
by the management with the editors and the editorial staff, in the course 


B70 


of which the views of the proprietor are elaborated, might serve the 

fa^^thaTX"" specific directions in individual cases. Sometimes the 
fact that the owner has got an office in the same building as the news 

rffifi'ro page-proofs, acts as a source of pressure o“ 

V ™ o.^ ce "»> kn»*nsn of hi. rtoBoHo 

certain topics, serves to influence the presentation of news. 

690. Interests of the owner— Such interference with professional stand- 
ards is most objectionable when it arises from financial and economic in- 
terests ot the proprietor. Those interests may be divided into two cate- 
gories; the fir.st IS the hope of greatf'r profits from the newspaper itself and 
the second is tlie e.xpectation of advantage to the other financial interests 
the proprietor. As long as the institution of private property exists the 

■^•'•feguard them from dimunition would 
h-ave, therefore, to be sou.i^ht, in thi.s as in some 

Ts rr ,'”'7'"^ ^'"''7' public against manifestations of 

aesnes that are contrary t(.) public interest. 

691 ^ Sensationalism to raise cireuiation.— The anxietv to earn greater 

^c'r ‘p”"'"’ ” '""u on the contents of anew.s- 

p,,.p(-i. i.evennes go up with incToasing circulation while the cost per unit 
goes down, .rhe temptation is. theref.we, to build up the circulation to as 
e 7 elsewhere with the existence of 

oirc-uIatio„ from f,thcm papers, and have 
wdii 'the f " ^O” '■■urb.ng such practices. We are here concerned 

I v h : m an’’"an i/’"" ' 

n V-; Ti d / »' creulation. Sensationalism in the .selection 

d.-i, V then dismay is a common dofcct of new.spapers where the 

tf ' P«'dominant. We have seen how duHiig the distur- 

t-'vrnin- out^h^ies'. dt ^ith one another in 

t..,ii, 1 out issues with screaming headlines set in poster type, more likelv 

u 111. ,.,me the public than to inform them. In evidence, the prorrictors 

^ ch.f)S'e to be .sensational, and secondly that if their 

hm '-'gp-r during the period 

! ' 7 ' 70/';^'^' -n Bombay an instance of a paper, with a 

Fs m'lb i i fifg'clman f “'■j declining circulation and 

IS pul.m.-.iung cheap features comprising the usual mixture of sex and crime 

wm, proprietors all over the world have taken to as the tonic for failing 

do- it Lne?7'’ H or pornography, the question is “whom 

It benefit^ and the answer is~the proprietor. 

(i.'lT Control, proper and improper— We may now review the conclu 

sions arrived at: ' eonciu- 


(ii 


le right of the owner lo lay down in advance the editorial 
policy of a paper cannot bo taken away but thi.s does not give 
him the right to dictate what news should be printed or what 
n™. .h,HiO n.,1 bo; or even the manner of presentation ot fh! 

So™rr„.i“roriK :L“:: *■> '-gp- 



(iii) there is also the danger that a paper, in order to increase its 
circulation and thereby securing greater profits, may adopt 
sensational, indecent, or scurrilous writing and indulging in 
unethical practices. 

We now proceed to the remedies for avoiding the prejudicial consequences 
that may follow from this position. 

r::';;. Kf‘ginienlation of news and views. — Having granted the owner the 
Dclo h) express his opinion in the newspaper, we musd, also stress the fact 
that di\Trsity in the expression of opinion is the very essence of freedom of 
exp!'(s;sion. in our review of the Press Chapter II, we luive stressed the 
need for a large number of papers to set forth diverse views. We examine 
i:; ao'^ther chapter lIk^ extent to which free competition and monopolies exist 
Si iJio i:ewspa]>er' world. Whilc^ we are satisfied that in the present stage 
>>! d( \ e!o[)men1 'tf the industry, no monopoly as such of public opinion exists, 
foresee the possibility of regimentation coming in. Wherever a news- 
])a[K !' .ha.'-: Iihf'd to bidld up a mass circuialion, it has met with competition 
fri.rii Mp.dertakhigs expi'cssing other points of view and such competil io>i is 
liv h.-; '!f ■'iic best corrective to the ai’qiusition of any monopoly of i)!!!)!;!' 
or)ininr). In ordmg however, to meet tlic' contingenry lha.t a ni'wspaper enter- 
pi ’.'C mighl :seek to eliminate competition by unfair practice, we have recom- 
!V( in ('hapler IV thah in tlu^ law I'egnlafing the industry, pro\dsion 

sin ! In* mnd>' to prevent unfair pra'hifes. If e\a:‘n under snch restrictions 
i’nnnri that diei’c is an\' aftpreciahle rlcgrce 'd caiu'i'ntrat ion. tht' |/roce* 
dure we rec'ommend for dealing with it is set out in Cliapter XVf. 

fkH. Individual owncr-sbip. — It lias come to our notice that some of tlie 
pe r-.', lie. at fire -ent 'awninc .'m' controlling papi'rs, have had no i.»revious 
connection with or training in journalism. There are others \\'!\o while 
(■undiading nev'spapin's are primarily interested in other activities. There am 
s^^ nv- wiio ai'(' gL'ncrally reputed to ha\'e indulged in anti-sochal aclivirr;'S. 
Til*' nropneh)!' r>f ^aie of Cna biggest nowsjiapers in this c*oimtr;v \a)limterM-v‘d 
tn'C stalernent that he had committed every crime short of murderl N ^ 
knowing whether to take this a.s an attempt at humour, we nu; to him the 
specific question whether ho had committed dai'oity. His answer was mort,' 
or less to the ctlcct that the spirit was 'villing, hot ihe fle'^di was weak’ 
Wlhie we would not like to make too much of such statement'', wc n'”. :! 
admit our eoneern at the possibility of unserupiilous men entering the he’d 
of journalism. We have rejected sngge; d'^ns tiiat any one wlm wishe:- 'o 
start a paper should first secure the appro' al of a hoard or comn 'it toe. Other 
sugeestiens votc' that certain limitation:, should be pbco;'d a forrrs of 
ownership either by legislation or by convention, so that whaiever may be 
the caprices of an individual, he will be restrained by a stnutere of ovmc'r- 
ship or of eonlrol in which others will be associated whose opm:;’'’s he canimt 
liglitly set aside. 

()05. Defect.s not invariably linked to form of ownership. — We agree bed 
the shortcomings to which we have drawn attention are not peculiar to any 
parth'ular type of ownership. There have been distressing cases whnrc, 
though there has been no great change in the form of ownership, p^ipers 
ha\'c embarked on a pursuit of circulation by any means, (even though the 
meaiis might involve distortion of news and presentation of prejudiced views) 
and instead of courageously giving a lead to the people, pandered to the 
whims of the public in times of great excitement. There has also been 
evidence about newspapers whose ownership was vested in a political party. 



272 


where the profit motive was not the dominant one, which indulged in mis- 
representation of political opponents. There have been cases of small news- 
papers, owned by individuals or groups or partnerships indulging in scurrilous 
and ull’ensive publications. There have also been instances where, though 
the form of ownership permitted close control, editors have defied proprietors 
and followed policies not manifestly in public interest. There has also been 
evidence about a newspaper, whose ownership is kept within a family, which 
has set up high traditions of stability and objectivity in journalism. Whatever 
the forms of ownership, the character of a newspaper will depend on the 
cliarac ler of the editor and the proprietors and not on the form of ownership. 
There may be enlightened proprietors and editors, and newspapers controlled 
by iljern will be enlightened examples to the country. There may also be 
eases where trustees of newspapers become tyrants, or co-operati\'e owner.ship 
inidV become coercive particularly if those in control do not have a proper 
sense cf values. We agree that in the final analysis, character and conduct 
will determine the performance of the Press. In the course of a debate n 
the Press in Parliament, the Prime Minister said that “ultimately this 
problem, as any other problem, depends upon the quality of human beings 
and liie i-ornmunity at large”. Nevertheless, there is no doubt that exon i.ws. 
by the individual owner, of the right of control does carry with it th,e 
real danger of misuse of the Press for personal or purely eommercial purp ). e.v 
and the evidence before us compels us to suggest changes in llie pres'/mt 
^^trueture of ownership of individual newspapers. We are, therefore, examin- 
ing later in this chapter the means by which the exerense of control ari.sing 
out of ownership could be tempered by diffusion of the owner’s rights. 

(hub Foreign nationals as owners. — Another question that must be c on.;;- 
dered in this connection is the ownership of newspapers and periodicals by 
nationals of other countries and even by foreign governments. We consider 
it highly desirable that proprietorial interests in daily and weekly newspapers 
.should vest predominantly in Indian hands. We consider tlie “Statesman” 
a notable exception, which has for long been associated with Indian journalis e 
and has become more or less an Indian institution. Even so. on general 
principles, we consider it desirable that there .should be Indianisation b ^th 
of capital and of the staff, especially at the higher levels. This would apoly 
also to commercial and economic weeklies such as “Capital”. “Commerce”, 
etc. Similarly, we would view with disfavour any attempt 1o bring out 
Indian editions of foreign periodicals which deal mainly with news end 
current affairs. On the other hand, we see no objection to the publication 
of local editions of technical and specialist periodicals, with the participation 
of Indian capital and labour. 

Cl? Foreign governments as publishers. — We do not consider it desirable 
tliat any foreign government should publish a newspaper or periodical in 
India devoted to the pre.sentation of Indian news and views. We are aware 
That a great deal of material publicising the activities in foreign countries is 
produced locally instead of being imported in ready form, and, we have no 
objection to this procedure subject to the overall requirement that they say 
nothing which is likely to undermine India’s friendly relation.s with foreign 
countries. These observations would not apply to publications covered by 
diplomatic privilege. But when such publications touch upon Indian news, 
there is always the risk that they may be deemed to have taken sides in 
matters of local controversy. We were assured by the U.S.I.S. that in their 
references to Indian news, they confine themselves to publicising the results 
of Indo-U.S. co-operation and the Five Year Plan and that they exercise the 
greatest care to avoid reference in their publications to any topic that is the 



subject ol local controversy. If they keep themselves strictly to these two 
siibje(‘ts, there would be no objection to their publishing Indian news. 

698. In this connection, we would like to stress our view that we would 
consider it improper lor the Central or State Governments to publish a news- 
paper of their own or to participate in its publication. We have discussed in 
another chapter the types of periodicals that governments miglit bring out, 
but a daily or weekly publication, dealing mainly with news and current 
events, would not be one of these. 

699. Control exercised to suit other interests — The risk of news being 
twisted to suit the personal dnterest.s of the owner, is greatest wheie the 
owner has other interests than journalism. There are. of course, instances 
where the owner has pronounced view's on general issues such as tarifl 
reforms, or he takes up, for advocacy, a particadar public cause. The exerci.se 
of the owner’s control in such matters is not, in our view, so objectionable or 
calling for remedial action as. for instance, where the owner pleads for, say, 
decontrol of sugar or reductions in the prices fixed for cane and is also the 
(,*wner of many sugar mills. This kind of pressure which has been noticed 
quite frequently in India is not, however, unique to this country, nor i.s it 
always only the owner who is to blame. In a recent incident m the United 
Kingdom, it was reported that the editor of the “Daily Sketcli” altered the 
contents of an article without the permission of the author and, after the 
alteration, published it over the author’s name. Material changes in the 
manuscript had been made on the grounds that the (‘liticism had not done 
justice to a film, in the making of w^hich the editor’s firm and the editor himself, 
had l)een associated. The author had a legitimate grievance but attempts to 
have this ventilated in the Press had been unsuccessful. The “World Press 
New^s” had declined to publish the complaint, allegedly mentioning, among 
other reasons, the family relationship between its proprietor and the high 
command of the paper which had published the distorted article, though 
the World Press News since denied that this fact had influenced their decision. 
The “New Statesman and Nation”, w^hich had also decdiricd to publish the 
complaint from the author of the article, came out subsequently wdth the 
explanation that, if it had had full information about the circumstances, it 
would have certainlj^ taken up the cause of the writer. We w^ere glad to 
learn recently that the Press Council in the United Kingdom, which is a 
voluntarj^ association of representatives of the Press, censured the editor of 
the Daily Sketch. 

700. It would be ideal if the proprietor of a newspaper has no other 
interests. But it would not be a practical possibility to insist that anybody 
who starts a newspaper .should divest himself in advance of all other business 
or property interests and should subsequently also refrain from investing in 
any business or property. We therefore feel that the remedy lies in diffusion 
of effective control, or in order to bring this about, diffusion of ownership 
among a large number of persons so that the chances of any dominant 
interests among the group of owners could be eliminated or cancelled 
mutually. 

701. Diffusion of control. — One method of providing diffusion of control 
without making any change in the ownership of the paper would be to transfer 
the management to a Public Trust. In our view, judged against the back- 
ground of legislation relating to death duties and the high rate of income-tax, 
the pressure of oircumstances might induce individual owners of large news- 
paper undertakings to seek a form of ownership by public Trusts as the best 

18 M of I&B. 


way of ensuring that the enterprise which they have started would be carried 
oil with strength and stability as an efficient public service. A proposal 
was put before us that all newspapers, big and small, should be compelled 
by legislation, to come under the Trust form of ownership or control. While 
we do not recommend any compulsion of the type suggested, we do regard 
the Trust form of ownership as the most desirable of the alternatives we 
have considered for effective diffusion of ownership and control. We would 
welcome in India this trend which the Royal Commission on the Press in the 
United Kingdom has described as one of the most interesting developments 
of the last 25 years: the voluntary agi-eements of owners to limit their own 
sovereignty in the public interest. These limitations of sovereignty have 
taken two forms: 

(1) the transfer of ownership to a Trust; and 

(2) the operation of the undertaking under a deed of trust; 

The objec'ts of these arrangements are one or more of the following: 

(1) To maintain the character and policy of a paper; 

(2) To avoid the crippling effect of death duty: and 

(3) To ensure, through the limitation or the ploughing back of the 

profits, the preservation or expansion of the undertakings. 

Having paid special attention to the possibility of the constitution of Trusts 
as an advisable form of ownership and having examined the various forms 
oi Trusts (Vide Appendix XLTV), we are alive to the diffic'ulty of drawing 
up a mode! Deed of Trust which will ensure that a paper retains a particular 
character in perpetuity; even if this wxtg possible, it would be undesirable. 
Further, the sueeess of a Trust depends greatly im the individuals who com- 
pose it ami th.c creation of a Trust would not by itself guarantee continuity 
of tradition or maintenance of journalistic standards or ensure diffusion of 
control. We have come across instances where the trustees have shown a 
lack of adaptation to changing circumstances and an inability to display 
initiative. There has been evidence too of a desire to cling on to the trustee- 
ship for persona] reasons. So, while we strongly commend the Trust form 
of control, and of ownership too, we shall not here recommend any specific 
form of Trust or suggest criteria for the selection of trustees. We would also 
suggest that where any particular type of Trusts exist and are functioning 
properly, no change in the form of ownership need be made, though we 
would urge that even in respect of newspapers owned or controlled by Trusts, 
steps should be taken to associate employees of the paper with the manage- 
ment and control. 

702. Effective control with diffused ownership. — Turning now to diffusion 
of ownership, as distinct from diffusion of control in a Trust, we find that 
one of the usual consequences of such diffusion in other fields has been the 
lack of effective control by those who share the ownership. The apathy of 
the small investor has been so pronounced that it has left the way open for 
a great deal of mismanagement in the case of other joint stock enterprises. 
We are, therefore, of the opinion that even after the passing of the proposed 
Company Law, which aims at remedying some of the present defects, effective 
diffusion of ownership of a newspaper, with the aim of diffusion of control, 
can be secured best if shares are distributed among the employees who 
function in the undertaking itself and are in constant touch with all its 
activities. 


703. Co-operative societies. — One form of such diffused ownership would 
be the co-operative society wherein the paper is owned by the subscribers, or, 
alternatively, by the persons who participate in its production. We are not 
aware of any experiment that has been made in this country of such co- 
operative ownership. Attempts have been made to transfer the management 
of existing papers to co-operative societies of employees, but these have not 
brought success, partly because, at the time of such transfer, the papers 
were in such difficult circumstances that they could have been extricated 
only by managements which could command ample financial resources. This 
is not to shut out the possibility of such co-operative newspapers being started 
in the future, but, viewing the general resources of the small investor and 
the sums required to start a daily newspaper, we consider it very unlikely 
that such forms of ownership could provide the way out of the difficulties of 
proprietorial control. 

704. Diffusion of ownership among employees. — In view of this difficulty, 
we recommend that difTusion be brought about by the gradual distribution of 
shares to the employees, and to a small extent to the public, both in existing 
undertakings and in those to be started in future. Such transfer will guard 
against control of the undertaking passing to strangers, and the employees 
sharing in the success which they help to create, would have an interek in 
securing the continuance of the undertaking which provides them with 
employment. 

705. Where a newspaper decides to bring about such difTusion of owner- 
ship, we would suggest that the payment of bonus to the employees should 
be efl'ected in the form of shares of the company, the employee having a right 
to hold them only as long as he continues in the service of the paper. It 
would be necessary first to convert the newspapers into public joint stock 
companies, where it is not already of that form, and to fix a par value for 
each share which would be small enough to permit the purchase of at least 
one share in a year by the lowest paid employee. We are suggesting else- 
where that after the payment of a small return on the capital investment, 
1/3 of the surplus remaining should be applied to the payment of a bonus 
for the stafi:. The stall should be permitted to take over shares to the full 
value of such bonus. The total pay-roll of the newspaper industry amounts 
to about Rs. 4 crores a year, and if the bonus works out at even one month's 
wage bill on the average, the extent of capital transferred to the employees 
would be substantial, amounting to roughly 5 per cent, of the total capital 
invested in the industry. In the course of ten years, half the capital in the 
industry would have been provided by the employees. In addition, each 
member of the staff should also be permitted to purchase shares to the 
maximum extent that he is entitled to against payment in cash. 

706. We have recommended above that the employee should hold a share 
in the concern only as long as he is dn its service. In order to ensure that 
such holdings are not turned into property that can be accumulated and 
passed on, it is essential to provide machinery by which the shares could be 
re-acquired whenever an employee leaves the service of the newspaper either 
on retirement or for any other reasons, and could be transferred to other 
-employees as and when they become entitled to it. Since companies are not 
permitted under the law to buy back shares in their own concerns, it would 
be necessary also to form a separate Investment Trust constituted mainly 
from the employees, which holds the shares available for transfer to employees 
and can also buy back any shares which employees are compelled to sell, 
and hold them till they can be transferred to another employee. There might 


also be cases where, owing to clome.stic circumstances, an employee would 
liko> (o roali.se he value of the shares he holds. In such cases, he may be 

Cesl rfent Tru It m but through the 

1 Direr 1 r . 7 h n r essential for the Investment Trust to appoint 

a Directoi to the Board of the newspaper in order to safeguard the interest 

0 the employee shareholders. The Investment Trust may have to raise a 
loan to accelerate the proce.ss of diffusion of ownership. In this conned ion, 
GUI attention has been drawn to the fact that educational institutions in 

Government for the construction of 
heir hostels. While we are not prepared to recommend the grant of such 
oans diiectly by Government to the proposed Investment Trusts, we would 

1 e he Press Council to e.\plore the possibility of such loans being chan.nelled 
rough bank.s to Investment Trusts so that they can gel the funds they 

require for bringing about etfective dilfusion of ownership in newspaoers, 
am. (nere would be no ctiance of Government interference or influence in the 
matter. We feel that some such measure would be helpful in bringing about 
an early impiemcntalion of the recommendation that we have made lor 
d. Illusion of ownership ir:i Indian newspapers. 


■ A ^ •! suggested above ha.s been tried in a newspaper 

in the L tilled Slates of America and reports arc agreed that if has worked 
very .sati.sfndorii.v. After the death in Itl.'-iS of Mr. Harry ,1. Grant, ihe 
founder and principaJ shareholder, of the “Miiwaukee Journal”, it was 
resolved (1) that the control of the company should not pass to' strangers, 
and (2) the emploi'ees should share in the success which they had helped 
to create. The shares in the concern were lirsl offered in Itl.'H to tho.se 
employees who had five years or more of service an the Milwaukee Journal 
•‘^58 bought shares which were paid for by a bonus of 
it-_.i(),000 declared by the Company, or by loans which were granted on .2 per 
cent, interest by a .specially created Corporation calJed the Journal Shares 
Corporation, which fnanced the purcha.ses of shares. In 19,38. a further 
allotment of shares brought up the employees’ holdings to 40 per cent, of 
the total capital. A further 133 employees became shareholders in this year. 
Local banks then undertook to finance purchase by employees of the shares 
in the coneern. In 1947, a third allocation brought employees’ holdings up 
to 55 per cent, of the total capital. By this time, out of 683 eligible emplo.vees 
669 had participated in the scheme. No pressure was or is brought to bear 
on employees to buy shares. 

708. Under this scheme, each employee who must have put in three years 
of service with the company can vote according to his holding in a share- 
holders’ meeting. He is also entitled to all dividends paid to shareholders. 
If. however, he wishes to sell his shares, he must offer them through the 
Trustees of the Scheme to other eligible employees. When he ceases to be an 
employee of the Journal or reaches the age of 65, he must return his .shares 
for resale. Any employee may, however, offer his shares or any part of 
them for resale at any time earlier. 

709. In this scheme which is based on a “point” basis, long service, respon- 
sibility. leadership, etc., are recognised, those qualifying under these headings 
enjoying opportunities for acquiring a greater allotment of shares subject, 
however, to a fixed maximum. Members of unions are allotted shares on a 
group basis. The purpose of this and of the maximum prescribed is to ensure 
that control of the company does not pass into the hands of any one group 
It was their experience that, in addition to leading to greater co-ordination, 
efficiency and production, the scheme has enabled employees to build up 



277 


ffreatpr fnnHc f u to them and to their familiities have included 

"r„ ‘ ■ ''•™l •"<! fisher education: 

Ec~H: Wb".r„r ScS 

u^r.t :irs - “.h:rr„3 

which own<^ '^nnnnn\r.a- i John Lewes Partnership Ltd. 

interest m 6 oSo or^4n''sh "'m'" ^as assigned hrs 

of these sh-i rs’ n, i t ono-lifth interest in the dividends 

trihiitpH ti. ' , ^ Piohts, alter paying dividends on capital, is dis- 

to the pensioii fund^'^^Throuch the^ of negoliable shares and as contribution 
has Daid to it-; ro I 'ough Die years since its inception, the Partnership 

salaries, ranging fi c m ->0 perTnf 'T'* Porceniage cut in wages and 
below -1 ,. 0.7 ® *■ salaries to nothing on wages 

Tht . c. t '"‘oimuni, though some of the ••Parlners” objected to the Ss 

partnership Tnck.de"'''' « ‘>onus added. The constitution of the 

^ ^ s,ystom of checks and balances. According to the 

eert roffi • P^-^^-toership require of each partnei a 

spirit of the n"r’'t’ ^ compliance not only with the letter but with the 

could be adnhttedTn^r'p p '’f h™self the right to decide who 

of eliminaUne n!on o n Partnership, and has expressed himself in favour 
His powers of disnhLT a” persistently and seriously dissatisfied, 

a coLcil of 1 h 1 f u employees, through 

award large T.^ms b7w "'"‘^tion, cL 

decision has bZ u^iusr " ” ^he Chairman’s 

711. The scheme ha.s been criticised as undemocratic on the grounds that 
the emergence of a vigorous opposition in unthinkable in such a self-contained 
commercial enterprise, and that democracy is more nearly achieved where 
the employees are not partners but a strong trade union acting through out- 
side negotiators on major i.ssues. Our aim in recommending this form of 
ownership is not so much to provide an arena for conflict or opportunity for 
intervention but to ensure the development of a team spirit and the emer- 
gence of a coordinated purpose, which we consider essentia] for the success 
of a newspaper. We do not particularly favour the John Lewis scheme where 
the Chairman is the sole arbiter in the matter of admission into cooperative 
ownership and would prefer an arrangement wherein the holding Trust is 
managed by an independent board; whenever an objection is raised by any of 


278 


the shareholders, the board can hear all points of view and decide on the?* 
eligibility of any employee for admission to part ownership. 

712. It must be stated that the form of ownership that we suggest has not 
tried in India and that, as a measure of caution, it should be understood 

that this suggested form of ownership will succeed only where there is a 
general agreement among the employees of a paper about the policy which the ^ 

newspaper should pursue. If there is disagreement, and in the absence of 
machinery for release of the persons who are in disagreement, the efforts of 
the section which is in a majority to influence the management and to over- 
rule the minority opinion may result in serious loss of efficiency. This should 
be avoided at any cost, and, it is necessary for the employees of each paper 
to realise that the success of any such sclieme depends entirely on their unity 
on matters of policy. Where the newspaper is organised as a joint slock 
company, the Memorandum of Association should indicate, to the extent 
possible, its overall policy. 

713. Where the present owners of a newspaper feel that the tradition of 
the paper and its policy may not be maintained after such devolution of 
ownership, in spite of the safeguards suggested, it would be open to them to 
choose one of the forms of Trust ownership and control that we have men- 
tioned earlier. 

714. It is necessary to define the type of enterprise which should come 

within the scope of future measures regulating ownership and control. Si nee 
the difficulties experienced and the dangers envisaged are in respect of news- 
papers and periodicals serving as vehicles of opinion and purveyors of news, 
these measures should obviously be restricted in their application to such 
newspapers and periodicals, to be defined suitably. We realise the practical 
difficulties in the way of diffusion of ownership in the case of very small 
newspapers, c|uite apart from the very definite possibility that a small news- 
paper, if handicapped also with the multiplicity of voices in control of its ^ 

policy and management, is likely to fail. A distinction based mainly on 
circulation would not be logical in its application since an arbitrary figure of 

my, 15,000 would bring within the scope of the Act what would really be a 
very small paper in Bombay, and exclude practically every paper however 
important or influential in other States, e.g.. Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, or 
Madhya Pradesh. We would, therefore, recommend that, while we have 
suggested certain forms of Trusts for the devolution of control and, in the 
alternative, machinery for the devolution of ownership, the requirements ol 
each paper will have to be judged separately. 

715. The profit motive. — The expectation of a return on capital is inherent 
in the present business structure of the country, and this aspect of the news- 
paper industry cannot be ignored. We would, however, like to stress that a 
reasonable return on capital should not be confused with the quest for large- 
scale profits. If such a quest becomes a dominant or exclusive character of a 
newspaper management, it may lead to commercialisation, vulgarisation, or 
sensationalism, on the part of that paper. 

716. The danger of a paper indulging in sensationalism or exaggeration, 
or of adopting an indecent or scurrilous style of writing in order to promote 
its circulation, or of adopting unethical practices for the dominant purpose 
of securing profits would not be shut out completely even by the type of 
diffusion that we have recommended above. We, therefore, recommend that 
the initial return on capital might be limited in the case of every newspaper 

a figure of | per cent, above the bank rate or 4 per cent, whichever is 


279 


higher, irrespective of whether that paper has adopted the system of gradual 
diffusion of ownership among its employees or not. This would ensure that 
the management, whether appointed by the proprietor or elected by the body 
of employee-shareholders, would not be motivated primarily by the search for 
profit. In addition, transfer of the shares from the proprietor to an employee 
or subsequently from one employee to another, should always be on the basis 
of a fixed par value so that the temptation of capital appreciation should not 
play a part in the editorial conduct of the paper. 

717. We realise that in the case of certain periodicals, where the em- 
ployees are even now members of a family or close associates of the 
proprietor, a substantial change in the character of the publication 
may not be brought about by the process of devolution of ownership. We 
look in these cases to the measures we have suggested in a later chapter for 
the establishment of a Press Council as well as to the effective exercise of 
public opinion for much of the reform that is needed. 

718. We have suggested earlier that each newspaper should publish 
periodically a statement showing the names of the persons who own it and 
of those responsible for its management. This would enable the public to 
judge the extent to which the opinions of the newspaper can be taken as un- 
biassed. The form in which the declaration should be published in the paper 
should be prescribed by th(.> Press Registrar who would also review in his 
annual reports, the extent of ownership of newspapers by individuals, holding 
companies or corporations. Further, the Press Council in its annual review of 
the performance of the Press would pay special attention to the existence of 
any bias, and spotlight any instance where such bias has arisen from financial 
interests of the proprietor. In the case of corporate ownership by the 
employees, the .Pre.ss Council vrould draw attention to deviations from the 
standard of ethics and censure the journalists who are partly responsible for 
the ownership and control. 

719. We have suggested elsewhere that the newspaper industry should 
be declared as one of those coming under the control of the Central Govern- 
ment. We would at the same time urge on all newspapers to adopt within a 
period of five years the system of gradual devolution of ownership to the 
employees that we have outlined above. Big newspaper enterprises should, 
in particular alter their structure of ownership and make provision for Trust 
management of newspapers or the distribution of shares to employees so that 
the latter might participate in the conduct of the papei*. 


720. It shall be the responsibility of the Press Council to review at the end 
of five years all the consequences of newspaper ownership in the light of 
circumstances then existing, including an examination of the effectiveness of 
the association of employees witli the ownership, the consequences of such 
a structure on the performance of the Press, the flow of fresh capital for the 
expansion of the industry, and the extent to which the conduct of papers 
has been motivated by a spirit of organised public service. The inquiry will 
also cover the manner in which the Trust form of management or employee- 
ownership should be extended to other units of the Press. It will be open to 
the Press Council, at the conclusion of this inquiry, to make appropriate re- 
commendations, including the setting up of a fact finding inquiry, if they 
consider it necessary. 



CHAPTER XVI 


COMPETITION AND MONOPOLIES 

Position in 1952 i 

721. Introductory. — Tiie cuialysis below covers all the neiospapers whose 
existence had been reported to us by the State G ax') eminent s at the time the 
survey was commenced. Papers that had been in existence in 1952 but which 
had discontinued publication before 1st January 1953 bane however been 
omitted from the study. The circulation data refers to the first half of 1952, 
the latest period for which detailed figures could be collected by the Commis- 
sion. In certain cases ive have not been able to get the figures for this period 
and have used the figures for the next period. In the matter of total circula- 
tion. we have had no means of directly ascertaining the figures and cannot, 
therefore, vouch for their accuracy. We have used the audited figures, where- 
ever available, or the figures reUirned by the publishers, if lower. For the 
figures of sales in particular toions we have had to depend solely on the 
returns of the publishers. 

722. An examination ha.s b(?cn made of the circulation of daily new.spapers 
in the country in order to ascertain the nature and extent of competition 
among them and to find out if monopolies exist. The term ‘‘monopoly'’ is 
used here to signify sales of one particular newspaper in a preponderating 
majority of the total sales of all papers and to the practical exclusion of other 
papers. Such a monopoly may exist locally, in a particular city or town, in 
that a single newspaper may hold a predominant position while all the others 
have negligible circulation. Similarly, an extensive monopoly may exist in a 
particular language where one paper, though not holding a local monopoly 
in particular towns, might still command such a large proportion of sales that 
it may be considered to have a monopoly. An examination has been made of 
the circulation of each daily paper to ascertain the position with regard to 
local and extensive monopolies, and in each section, the change in pattern 
brought about by common ownership of more than one paper has been exa- 
mined separately. 

723. Monopolies can arise also from the concentration of ownership of and 
control of a number of newspapers in the hands of one owner or group. A 
list of owners controlling more than one newspaper is given in Appendix 
XLV. In examining monopoly in the expression of views and presentation 
of news herein our general assumption, when we have clubbed together all 
newspapers under common ownership and control, is that all of them might 
follow a common policy in their news and views. All such newspapers under 
common ownership, whether published in different languages or from 
different centres, have been considered together. The evidence before the 
Commission would indicate that this assumption is only partially correct. In 
multiple units of the same paper, the editorial policy is generally identical. 
A considerable degree of latitude has, we found, been permitted to the editors 
of individual units belonging to groups, chains and combines, and often the 



281 


greatest uniformity was in matters of personal or business interest to the 
owners. We have however, been concerned not merely with present practice 
but also with future potentialities for the regimentation of opinion and conse- 
quently have taken into consideration the undeniable facts of ownership and 
control rather than the degree of individual freedom in units which, in any 
case, varies from time to time and from editor to editor even in the same 
group or chain. 

724. In tlu' review below, papers published from Bombay, Calcutta, Delhi 

% and Madras and circulating generally in more than one State have been called 

“metropolitan" papers. Those which circulate over a number of districts or 
over a substantial part of a State are termed “provinciar’ papers. Those that 
have the bulk of their circulation limited to the district of publication are 
termed “district” papers. 

725. A distinction has been made between papers published in English and 
in each of the Indian languages on the general assumption that such papers 
reach differemt sections of the population. The general consequence of com- 
bined ownership of papers in English and Indian languages has, however, been 
examined in a later part of this chapter. 

726. One obvious difficulty in the course of comparison of circulation 

arises from the fact that the newspapers in themselves are not strictly com- 
parable. For instance, a large paper published from Bombay or from Delhi 
cannot be considered as offering no more, in the way of news or other services, 
than a small paper published in, say, Kanpur or Poona. The primary function 
of this examination is, how^ever, to ascertain the extent to w'hich particular 
sets of rather than news or services, are distributed to different sections 

of the population, and for this purpose each paper has been assumed to be as 
well entitled to separate consideration as another. Factors wnich affect cii- 
culation in particular areas, such as the facilities of rapid transport, have also 
been included in the examination. Other factors as price and size which can 
be taken as indirectly indicating the volume and nature of the new^s and other 
services provided by the paper, have been indicated in the table reproduced in 
Appendix XLVI. 

' 727. Local monopolies. — The examination below covers 93 cities and towns. 

These include all towns having a population of over one lakh. Certain capitals 
of Part B and C States whose population falls short of this figure have still 
been included in the analysis on the basis of their political importance; in 
addition, every towm where a daily newspaper is published has been included 
in the list for examination. The choice of these towns for examination is based 
on the presumption that each of them would provide readership sufficient to 
support a local paper. Of the total circulation of all daily newspapers in the 
country 55 per cent, is confined to these cities and towms and their suburbs. 
'' The review below sets out the general position in each State and examines the 

extent of competition in each of the selected towns. (In the case of rural 
areas, it has not been possible to secure figures of circulation for each in- 
habited locality. The position has, however, been examined according to 
languages of publication, in the study of extensive monopolies.). 

728. Assam. — Only two daily papers are published in this State. the 
'Assam Tribune’ in English and 'Natun Assamiya’ in Assamese, both from 
Gauhati. Circulation both in Gauhati, and in Shillong, the capital, have been 
examined. 

729. In Assamese, ‘Natun Assamiya’ is the only paper in the country and so 
it enjoys local monopoly both in Shillong and in Gauhati. 



282 


730. The circulation of English papers in Gauhati and Shillong towns are 


as under: — 


Gauhati 

Shillong 

Assam Tribune .... 

1400 

900 

Hindustan Standard ...» 

415 

578 

Statesman ..... 

195 

325 

Amrita Bazar Patrika 

1^7 

340 


In Gauhati, the metropolitan papers together account for a little more than 
one-third of the total, thus reducing the concentration of circulation in the 
local paper, which still holds the major portion of the readership. The Cal- 
cutta papers reach Gauhati rather late in the morning by air. At Shillong, 
however, both Gauhati and Calcutta papers reach too late for reading before 
the day’s work commences, and all of them serve mainly as afternoon 
papers. The Assam Tribune, therefore loses at Shillong the advantage that 
it has at Gauhati. 


731. The two towns contain substantial, sections of Bengali-speaking popu- 
lation, which, in addition to such preference as is shown for Calcutta papers in 
English, also provides substantial readership for Bengali papers: — 




Gauhati 

Shillong 


Ananda Bazar Patrika 


871 

279 

P- 

Jugantar . 


402 

285 


Satyayug 

. 

* 

59 



(*less than 50 copies). 

732. Common ownership has not brought about any appreciable con- 
centration in either town, the biggest circulation commanded by any group 
(from Calcutta) being less than the circulation of individual local papers. 

733. Bihar. There are 5 towns in Bihar with a population over one lakh, 

but daily papers are published only from Patna. There are two English 
dailies ‘Searchlight’ and ‘Indian Nation’, the former being owned by the 
Birla combine and the latter by a local group, Newspapers and Publica- 
tions Ltd. Each of them publishes in addition one Hindi paper ‘Pradeep’ 
and ‘Aryavarta’ respectively. There is further a local edition of the ‘Vishwa- 
mitra’ and two single unit papers ‘Bashtravani’ and ‘Navrashtra’. There are 
also two Urdu dailies ‘Sada-e-Aam’ and ‘Sathi’, w^hich are single unit papers. 
Thus there are 9 daily papers published in Patna, two in English, five in Hindi 
and two in Urdu. 

734. In Patna City the readership in the English language is about 11,000 
out of which the Indian Nation’ accounts for 74 per cent., the ‘Searchlight’ 
for 16 per cent, and three papers from Calcutta for 10 per cent. Competi- 
tion from metropolitan papers is thus very small. Concentration of circula- 
tion in the ‘Indian Nation’ is reduced by the existence of the rival paper,, 
the ‘Searchlight’. 



2m 


735. In Hindi there is no such concentration of circulation in a single- 
paper. The ‘Aryavarta’ and ‘Navrashtra’ each claim about one-third of the 
total circulation of Hindi papers in this town, which is about 16,500, ^the 
balance being shared by ‘Pradeep’, ‘Vishwamitra’ and ‘Rashtravani . The 
readers in Hindi have thus the choice of a fair number of competing papers. 


I ^ 736. Taking the factor of ownership into consideration, the following 

I table gives the circulation of dailies in Patna City grouped according to 

I . ownership and expressed as percentages of the total number of copies sold 

I . in the city. Owners of papers having less than 3 per cent, of the total 


circulation have not been included 

in the Table 1 . 



Table I 


1 

Owner 1 

i 

I i 

Percentage ot j Percentage of i 
the total Eng- j the total Indi- i 
lish language I an language ' 
papers circula-j paper circula- 1 
tion (estimated, tion (estimated, 

11,000) 1 2l,OOv>) 

Percentage ol 
the total 

circulation of 
all the papers 
estimated 
^2,000) 

1. Darbhanga Group (Indian Nation! 
and Aryavarta). ■ • | 

1 

74 32 

46 

1 

2. 1 he Navarasbtra Publishing Coni-| 

pany Ltd-, Patna (Nava-ashtra)' 

1 

; 3 ^ ' 

20 

3. Birla Combine (Searchlight andj 
Pradeep) . • • • 

1 

; 16 5 

9 

4. Gulam Sarwar and others (Sathi) 

1 1 , 

! .. ; 14 

9 

Navashakti Publishing Compariny 
Ltd., Patna (Rashtravani) 

1 

; 8 

1 

5 


It would be seen that about 90 per cent, of the total circulation is distributed, 
between 5 owners. The Darbhanga Group claims 46 per cent, while the 
Birla Combine claims 9 per cent, of the total circulation. 

737. The papers published from Patna circulate also in the other towns 
*# of Bihar and in each case readers have at least two English and five Hindi 

papers to choose from. The circulation of ‘Searchlight’. ‘Pradeep’ and 
‘Rashtravani’ arc comparatively greater outside Patna City than in it, and 
* there is more competitive distribution of papers in the other towns of Bihar. 

Further the metropolitan papers from Calcutta circulate more widely in 
these towns and this further reduces the concentration. The Patna papers 
predominate in Gaya and Bhagalpur, and Calcutta papers in Jamshedpur. 
Ranchi is nearer to Patna (220 miles) than to Calcutta (251 miles), but 
papers leaving at 9 p.m, from Patna reach Ranchi at 10 a.m. by bus from 
the railhead at Ranchi Road while the train leaving Calcutta at 9 p.m. 
reaches Ranchi at 9 a.m. Papers from Calcutta thus reach Ranchi an hour 
or so earlier. 


284 


738. The following table sets out the position: — 

Table II 


Langu- 

i 

Name of paper ! Tlacc of 

No. of copies oircii 

ating in the 

towns 

age 

1 publica- 
; lion 

Jamshed- 

pur 

Gaya 

I Ranchi 

Bhagalp 

English 

Indian Nation . Patna 

no 

786 

236 i 

800 

Searchlight . . ; 

160 

450 

140 

250 

, 

Amrita Bazar Patri- Calcutta 

646 

rSs 

265 

197 


ka Statesman 

66s 


380 

i 

Hindustan Standard ” | 

Hindu Madras j 

652 

175 


421 ; 

123 

Hindi 

Aryavarta . Patna 


374 

70 1 

370 


Pradeep . . ” 

I 10 : 

3.50 

* 

162 

J ^ 

Mavras htra . . ” 

* ! 

439 

264 

121 


Vishwamiira . Calcutta ■ 

37.5 

♦ 

177 ! 

325 

200 

>> 1 

Sanmarg . . ” i 

250 : 

* 

♦ ! 


(*lcss than 50 copies). 


739. Thus Bihar’s is a provincial Press located at Patna. Competition 
from metropolitan papers published at Calcutta is effective only outside 
Patna. There has been no development of district papers in this province. 
Though the total readership of Jamshedpur is 9,000, it is shared by papers 
in English, Hindi, Bengali, Oriya, Malayalam, and Urdu and, therefore, the 
readership in no one language is at present large enough to support a local 
paper. The position in the other towns is also similar, though the variety 
of languages is not so great. 

740* Bombay. — This State is served by the largest number of papers, a 
total number of sixty -nine, out of which eight ai'e in English, seventeen in 
Gujerati, twenty-four in Marathi, ten in Urdu, four in Kannada, two in Hindi 
and four in Sindhi. Thirty-two papers are published from Bombay City, 
nine from Poona, four from Surat, five from Ahmedabad, three from Baroda, 
four from Hubli, three from Kolhapur, two from Sholapur, Nasik and Ahmed- 
nagar, and three from Kalyan. Every town with a population over one lakh 
in this State has at least two local papers. Nasik, Ahmednagar and Kalyan 
have local papers even though their population is less than one lakh in each 
case. 

741. There are seven English papers in Bombay City out of which three 
are evening papers. Out of the four morning papers Times of India’ belongs 
to the Dalmia Chain, ‘National Standard’ to the Goenka Chain, ‘Free Press 
-Journal’ to a local Group and ‘Bombay Chronicle’ to the Cama Combine. The 
Dalmia Chain, tlie Free Press Group and the Cama Combine each publishes 
one evening English paper in addition to the morning paper. The total 
circulation of the morning English papers in the city is about 83,000. Out 
of this, the ‘Times of India’ accounts for 62 per cent., ‘Free Press Journal’ 
for 21 per cent., ‘National Standard’ (now Indian Express), for 12 per cent, 
and the ‘Bombay Chronicle’ for 5 per cent. The Times of India’ holds a 
dominant position in circulation, but concentration of English readership is 
reduced by the papers from Free Press Group and the Goenka Chain. 

742. There are seven Marathi papers in Bombay, including an evening 
paper. Out of the five morning papers ‘Loksatta’ belongs to the Goenka 
Chain, ‘Navashakti’ to the Free Press Group and ’Lokmanya’ to a group 



owned by the Saurashtra Trust. 'Chitra’ and 'Sayam Chitra' (evening) form 
a separate group, as do ‘NavakaV and its evening version ‘Sandhyakal’. The 
total readership of the morning Marathi papers in the town is about 70,000 
out of which ’Lokasatta’ accounts for 38 per cent , ‘Nav^ashakti' for 28 per 
cent., ‘Chitra’ 21 per cent., ‘Lokmanya’ 11 per cent, and ‘NavakaF less than 
2 per cent. 

743. In Gujarati there are 5 papers, out of which ‘Bombay Samachar’ 
belongs to the Cama Combine, ‘Janmabhoomi’ belongs to Saurashtra Trust 
Group and ‘Janashakti’ belongs to the Free Press Group. The remaining 
two papers ‘Vandemataram’ and ‘Jam-e-Jamshed’ are single unit papers. 
Though ‘Janmabhoomi’ and ‘Vandemataram’ are published in the evening 
they can be considered along with the morning paper as they are of the 
same type. All the Gujarati papers, whether morning or evening, belong 
to different owners. Out of the total readership of about 44,000 ‘Bombay 
Samachar’ accounts for 54 per cent., ‘Janmabhoomi’ 20 per cent., ‘Vande- 
mataram’ 11 per cent., ‘Jam-e-Jamshed’ 8 per cent, and ‘Janashakti’ 7 per 
cent. 

744. There are Chains, Combines and Groups operating in Bombay, com- 
peting with one another and providing the readers a wide choice of news- 
papers in each of the major languages. 

745. All paper in Urdu (ten papers) and Sindhi (one paper), are single 
units. They have very small circulation. Out of the two Hindi papers, 
‘Navbharat Times’ belongs to the Dalmia Chain and ‘Vishwamitra’ belongs 
to a Combine operating from Calcutta. Thus readers in Hindi have got a 
choice of two papers. 

746. The circulation breakdown in the Bombay City according to owner- 
ship is as under: — 


Table III 


Owner 

Percentage of 
the total Eng- 
lish language 
paper circulation 
(estimated 
1,07,000) 

1 Percentage of 
i the total 
i Indian langu 
! age paper 

1 circulation 
; (estimated 
1,38,000) 

; Percentage 
of the total 
- circulation of 
all the 

, papers (esti- 
mated 
2,45,000) 

I, Dalmia Chain (Tmcs of India, 
Evening News of India and 
Navbharat Times) 

57 

s 

28 

2. Free Press Group (Free Press Jour- 
nal, Free Press Buletin, Nava- 
shakti and Janashakt) 

28 

16 

21 

3. Goenka Chain (Indian Express ! 
and Loksatta). | 

9 

i 

19 

15 

i 

4. Cama Combine (Bombay Chro- j 
nicle, Bombay Sentinal and j 
Bombay Samachar) 

! 5 : 

j 

1 1 

17 

12 

i 

5. Saurashtra Trust Group (Janma- 
bhoomi and Lokmanya) 

1 

1 

1 

1 

12 

j 7 

6. Bharati Newspapers Ltd. (Chitra) 

1 

.. 

II 

6 



286 


747. It would be seen that about 90 per cent, of the total circulation is 
‘distributed between six owners. The Dalmia Chain claims 28 per cent. 

in total circulation and over 55 per cent, in the English language. (Recently 
due to a reduction in the selling prices of the papers belonging to Free 
Press Group and Goenka Chain, both these percentages have gone down.) 

748. Of the other towns in the State, only Poona publishes an English 
newspaper. It has only a local circulation in that city, and faces compe- 
tition from the Bombay papers which (in addition to being larger and better 
produced) can reach Poona in about 3 hours by road or rail. Though 
Ahmedabad has got a total readership of about 3,700 in English (which can 
possibly be increased if a local paper is published) it has no local English 
paper at present. Throughout the State the ‘Times of India' and ‘Free Press 
Journal’ compete with one another, though the ‘Times of India’ accounts for 
a much larger share. A few copies of ‘National Standard’ (Indian Express) 
also circulate in these towns. The following table sets out the circulation of 
English papers in the important towns: — 


TABI.R IV 

No. of copies circulating in the towns 


Naino of paper 


! I’v'jona 1 Sholapur; 

1 , 1 

Kolha- ! 
pur 

Flubli jAhmcda-’ 

; bad 

Surat 

R a rod a 

1 

Times of India, 1 

Bonibav. 1 

1 

4434 ; 523 

i 

456 

450 1 2,829 ‘ 

682 

876 

Free Press Journal, ! 

Bombay. ! 

i 

7S6 i 19S 

3^5 i 

88 I 755 i 

j 1 

225 

560 

National Standard 

Bombay (Indian Ex-| 
press). I 

i 

1 

490 1 * j 

i * 1 

• • j 77 , 

1 i i 

* 

; 51 

1 

Poona Daily, News, 1 

Poona. 1 

1,150 ' 

1 

.. i .. i 

•• 



(♦less than 50 copies). 


749. Marathi papers are published from Poona, Sholapur, Kolhapur, 
Ahmednagar and Nasik. Trabhat’ a Marathi paper from Poona belongs to 
the same owner as the local English daily ‘Poona Daily News’. The other 
Marathi papers of Poona ‘Manvantar’, ‘Sakai’, ‘Dainik Bharat’, ‘Kal’, ‘Lok- 
shakti’, ‘Sandhya’ and ‘Daily Lokrajya’ are single unit papers. Some of the 
Poona papers like ‘Sakai’ circulate in other towns and districts such as Shola- 
}pur, Kolhapur, Satara and Ahmednagar. These papers provide competition 



tor the metropolitan papers from Bombay such as ‘Loksatta’ as can be seen 
from the following tables: — 


TABLE V 


Name of the paper 

I Copies circulating in the towns 

Sholapur 

Kolhapur 

Ahmednagar 

Nasik 

Loksatta, Bombay 

475 

556 

662 

763 

Navshakti, Bombay 

285 




Chitra, Bombay 

TOO 



300 

Lokmanya, Bombay 

102 



202 

1 

Sakai, Poona . . . I 

1,400 

800 

960 


1 

Manvantar, Poona .' 

350 

600 I 



Divya^hakti, Sholapur 

300 




Sholapur Samachar, Sholapur . 

I >400 I 




Pudhari, Kolhapur 


00 

0 



Satyawadi, Kolhapur 


800 



A'/ad Mind, Ahmednagar 



370 


Ga\ kari, Nasik . • • 

i 



0 

0 


750. It will be seen that the Marathi papers from Bombay circulate over 
a under field than the Poona papers. Bombay City is linked directly by 
rail with Nasily Khandesh and Berar, and so papers from Bombay can reach 
these places quicker than Poona papers, while in the Desh area served by 
Poona papers, the Bombay papers are under no handicap. In Poona City 
itself, the competition offered by Bombay papers is negligible. Out of the 
Marathi readership in Poona City totalling about 24,000, Bombay papers 
account for less than 1,000 while the rest is divided between the Poona papers, 
of which 'Sakar leads having a readership of 12,300. Thus if Poona papers 
are affected by competition from Bombay papers, it is not so much compe- 
tition in Poona City itself, but the competition for readership which both 
Bombay and Poona papers seek in the southern Marathi districts. Sakai 
among the Poona papers, is able to sell in competition wuth the metropolitan 
papers from Bombay which, with their offer of more pages for the same 
price, may be able to give as much news coverage of the southern Marathi 
districts as the Poona papers without having to reduce their news coverage 
of the northern Marathi districts and Berar. 

751. District papers from Kolhapur and Sholapur have to face strong 
competition from both Bombay and Poona papers. In Sholapur town the 
local papers ‘Sholapur Samachar’ and ‘Divyashakti’ sell only 1,400 and 300 
copies respectively, whereas ‘SakaE and ‘Manvantar’ from Poona sell 1,400 
and 350 copies respectively and ‘Loksatta’ from Bombay sells 475 copies. 
The position is similar in Kolhapur though the competition from Poona and 
Bombay papers in this town is not so keen as in Sholapur. In Nasik the 
local paper, ‘Gavkari’, sells in competition with ‘Loksatta’ and other papers 
from Bombay. In Ahmednagar the local paper has only one-fifth of the 
combined circulation of ‘Loksatta’ and ‘Sakai’. Thus, while the papers from 


Bombay and Poona have afforded a wide choice to the readers of district 
towns, the ability of the local paper to sell in competition with Bombay and 
Poona papers varies from one paper to another. 

752. There are five Gujarati papers in Ahmedabad out of whioh two are 
evening papers. ‘Sandesh’ (morning) and ‘Sevak’ (evening) belong to one 
owner. 'Gujerat Samachar’ (morning) and ‘Loknad’ (evening) have simi- 
larly a common owner. Trabhat’ is a singJe unit paper. ‘Gujerat Samachar" 
and ‘Sandesh’ have securtid almost equal readership in the town, the circu- 
lation of each of them being of the order of 8,000 copies. Of the Bombay 
papers the ‘Bombay Samachar’ sells 1,172 copies and ‘Loksatta’ sells 402 
copies. Thus the local papers do not have much competition from the metro- 
politan papers or the papers from neighbouring towns like Baroda, but 
readers have ample choice. In Baroda there are three Gujarati papers all 
of which are single unit papers. Amongst them ‘Loksatta’ and ‘Sayyaji 
Vijaya’ compete with each other for a large share of the readership. The 
circulation of Bombay and Ahmedabad papers is not large in this town and 
may in all account for about 1.000 copies out of the total circuiation of 7,500 
copies for all Gujarati papers. In Surat there are 4 Gujarati papers which 
are all single unit papers and the readers have wide choice. The compe- 
tition afforded by Bombay and Alirnedabad papers is, however, very small. 
In both these towns the local Gujerati Press has developed well and metro- 
politan papers from Bombay have not made much headway even though 
Bombay is well connected with these towns by fast rail service. Each town 
has a good number of dailies published locally, and there is no concentration 
of readership. 

753. All the four Kannada papers in the State are published from Hubli. 
There is no competition from the metropolis or from outside the State. In 
circulation in Hubli town, ‘Samyukta Karnataka’ accounts for over 50 per 
cent, of the total readership in Kannada. However, readers have also three 
other papers to choose from, 

754. Kalyan, near Bombay, has a colony for displaced persons and three 
Sindhi papers are published locally, selling in competition with another 
Sindhi paper published from Bombay City. 

755. Taking into consideration the effect of concentration of ownership^ 
the position in the major cities of Bombay is roughly as follows: — 

TABLE VI 



Bombay 

Poona 

Ahmedabad 

Dalmia ....... 

28% 

T A 0/ 

‘4 /O 

9% 

Fre** Press ...... 

21% 

3% 

2 /o 

Goenka ....... 

15 % 

3 % 

1% 

Saurashtra 7’rust ..... 

•70/ 

7 /O 

t% 

1% 

Cama ....... 

T-jO/ 

^2 /o 

1% 

4% 

Bodiwalla ..... y . 

Nil 

Nil 

42% 

Lokprakashan ...... 

Nil 

Nil 

36 % 

Others ....... 

17% 

78% 

5% 


756. It would appear that the fact of common ownership of papers in 
more than one language has not tended to increase the degree of concentra- 
tion as compared to what exists in the case of individual language. In other 
words the leading paper in one language does not belong to the same owner 
as the leading paper in another language, as far as Bombay State is concerned. 

757. Madhya Pradesh. — There are eleven papers published in Madhya 
Pradesh, two in English, seven in Hindi, and two in Marathi. The distri- 
bution of papers according to towns is Nagpur (seven), Jabalpur (three) 
and Raipur (one). Only Nagpur and Jabalpur have got a population of 
over one lakh. In Nagpur there are two English papers, three Hindi papers 
and two Marathi papers. The Marathi paper Tarun Bharat’ and the Hindi 
paper 'Yugadharma’ are under common ownership. The Hindi paper ‘Nav- 
bharat’ is a multiple unit being published both from Nagpur and Jabalpur. 
'Lokmanya' at Nagpur is a multiple unit, the other unit being at Calcutta. 
The remaining papers in the State are single unit papers. 

758. The Englisli papers ‘Hitavada’ and ‘Nagpur Times’ can be said to be 
provincial papers, their circulation extending all over the State. At Jabal- 
pur they meet competition from Allahabad papers as well as from Bombay 
papers. Jabalpur being linked by a good rail service to Allahabad, papers 
from that town share the major portion of circulation. Next in order are the 
Bombay papers which also benefit by fast train service and then come the 
Nagpur papers. At Raipur the Nagpur papers share the major portion of 
circulation in English, though ‘Amrita Bazar Patrika’ and ‘Times of India’ 
afford some competition. In the town of Nagpur the provincial papers 
account for the major portion of the circulation, though the papers from 
Bombay, Delhi and Madras which arrive by air are sold in fair numbers. 
The following table illustrates the position of various papers: — 

TABLE Vn 




Copies circulating in the lowns 

Name of paper 


Nagpur 

abalpur 

Raipur 

Hitavada, Nagpur 



221 ■ ! 

23B 

N ippur d'imcs, Nagpur 


. : 2,083 ' 

480 1 

324 

Amrit Bazar Pairika, 


142 

1.077 ’ 

127 

1. e ider, Allahabad 



408 ; 


Times of India, Bombay 


902 

315 ; 


Free Press Journal, Bombay 


. ; 400 ; 

473 ; 


Hindustan Times, Delhi 



95 i 


Hindu Madras 


. 1 327 

loS 



Indian Express, Madras 


(’•'below 50 copies) 

759. The Hindi papers in Nagpur share the bulk of the Hindi readership 
in the town though the Bombay paper ‘Navbharat Times’ also sells in fair 
numbers (about 500). In Jabalpur the local Hindi papers claim almost 
the entire circulation. Nagpur papers do not find much sale in this town, 
because of the poor train service. About 300 copies of ‘Bharat’ from Allaha- 
bad are, however, sold in this town. ‘Navbharat’ has, however, attempted 

18 M of I. & B. « 


an extensive coverage having simultaneous publications in Nagpur and 
Jabalpur but there are two other papers in each of these towns to compete 
with it. In Raipur the ‘Navbharat’ of Nagpur sells about 500 copies and 
thus reduces to some extent the concentration of circulation which would 
otherwise have gone to the local paper ‘Mahakoshab. 

760. In Nagpur there are only two Marathi papei’s and of them ‘Tarun 

Bharat’ claims about 77 per cent, of the total Marathi readership (about 
5,0001 of the town and ‘Maharashtra’ accounts for 16 per cent. Further, very 
little competition is afforded in the city itself by Marathi papers from 
Bombay. The ‘Maharashtra’ sells a higher proportion of its copies outside 
Nagpur. In the districts the two Marathi provincial papers are thus evenly 

matched in sales. Some Bombay papers also are sold in these districts: — 

TABLE VIII 



Nagpur papers 

Bombay papers 

Districts of Berar 

Tarun 

Maharash- 

Loksatta i 

l.okmanva 


Bfiarai 

tra 




Copies 

Copies 

Copies 

Copies 

Akola ..... 

480 

486 

423 

115 

Amraoti ..... 

530 

.525 

290 

129 

Buldhana ..... 

290 

800 

425 

80 

Ycoimal ..... 

430 

548 

i 77 

26 


Thus there is no concentration of circulation in this part of the Slate, and 
the metropolitan papers from Bombay hav^e extended the choice available 
to the readers. 

761. According to ownership the circulation breakdown in the Nagpur 
City is as under: — 


TABLE IX 


Owner 

Percentage of 
total English - 
circulation i 
(estimated , 
7 AOO) 

Percentage of 
total Indian 
language 
circulation 
(estimated 

1 9.500) 

Percentage ol' 
total circula- 
tion of all 
papers 
(estimated 
17,000) 

I. Narkesari Prakashan Ltd. Group 
(Tarunbharat and Yugadharma) 


1 51 

28 

1 

2. Servants of India Society (llitavada) 

42 

1 


3. Nava Samaj Ltd. (Nagpur Times) 

28 

i • • 

12 

4. Maheswari Multiple Unit (Nav- 
bharat) 


1 21 

II 

5. Dalmia Chain (Times of India 
and Navbharat Times) 

12 

! 5 

8 

6. Shivraj Prakashan (Maharashtra) 

•• 

I 8 

1 

5 



291 


7t)2. Six different owners share over 80 per cent, of total circulation. 
Narkesari Prakashan group claims the largest share (28 per cent.) in total 
readership. It also claims half the total circulation of Indian language 
papers. The Dalmia chain which has no local paper claims 8 per cent, of 
the total readership. 

763. Madras. — There are twenty-five papers published in the Madras 
^ State, out of which four are in English (one of them has since closed down), 

ten in Tamil, five in Telugu, four in Malayalam, and one each in Kannada 
and Urdu. There are thirteen papers published from Madras, four from 
Kozhikode, three from Madurai, two from Kakinada and one each from 
Coimbatore, Mangalore and Vijayada. All these towns except Kakinada 
have a population of more than one lakh. There are seven towns in this 
State which have population of more than one lakh but have no local paper. 

764. There are thirteen papers in Madras City, four in English, six in 
Tamil, two in Telugu and one in Urdu. The Goenka Chain owns three 
papers ‘Indian Express’, ‘Dinamani’ and ‘Andhra Prabha’ in English, Tamil 
and Telugu respectively. Of these, ‘Dinamani’ is also published from 
Madurai. ‘Thanthi’, a Tamil daily is a multiple unit, the other unit being 
at Madurai. The other 9 papers in the town are single unit papers. Three 
English papers, ‘Hindu’, ‘Indian Express’ and ‘Mail’ compete with one another 
and account for 42 per cent., 28 per cent, and 21 per cent, respectively of the 
total readership of about 38,500 in English. In Tamil the papers ‘Thanthi’, 
‘Dinamani’, ‘Swadcsamitran’ and ‘Bharatadevi’ compete and afford